Google says if Oracle is able to assert java API copyright over Android, then innovation will be stifled
Google has asked the US Supreme Court to intervene in the search giant’s long-running dispute with Oracle over its claims that the Android mobile operating system infringes a number of Java APIs.
Specifically, it wants the court to overturn a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which said Oracle could copyright parts of Java, contrary to an earlier decision by a San Francisco federal judge.
Oracle sued Google in 2010 on the basis that Google improperly incorporated the “structure, sequence and organisation” of 37 Java APIs, and is seeking more than $1billion in damages for the alleged infringement.
Google Oracle Android dispute
According to Reuters, which has seen Google’s filing, the company is arguing that it would never have been able to innovate had the appeals court’s justification been in place when the firm was formed.
Earlier in the case, Google has stated that the use of the APIs in question was permissible under the “fair use” exception to copyright law as such use is necessary for programmers to create interoperable software and that any copyright assertion would be damaging. In contrast, Oracle claimed that the software industry relies on copyright protection in order to fuel innovation.
Android is the world’s most popular operating system, but manufacturers and Google have had to face a number of legal battles regarding patent infringement. Indeed, Google’s brief acquisition of Motorola for £8 billion was mainly motivated by a desire to gain access to the company’s patent portfolio in order to protect Android from lawsuits.
Microsoft has been particularly aggressive in seeking royalties from Android device makers over the use of its patents, negotiating deals with individual companies, including HTC, Samsung and Dell. The Windows Phone developer recently sued Samsung for late payment of royalties, with reports suggesting the deal was worth $1 billion a year.
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