It’s been a long battle between Oracle and Google that dates back to the early days or smartphone and mobile apps. As early as 2010, there has been a debate between Google and Oracle. Android faced a massive lawsuit at the hands of Oracle, saying Google used their code. The tech giant answered and explained they had Oracle’s approval. Oracle was claiming $1.16 billion in damages from Google but lost as the patent claim was tossed out and then copyright claims were dismissed in 2012.
Oracle has lost several times and one time, it was even asked to pay for Google’s legal fees. Oracle has been fighting Google’s ‘fair use’ ruling with appeal and we found it interesting to almost see the scales tipping the other way. We noted how and why this fight between the two big companies is important.
There has been so much drama between the two. Oracle said the Google earns $10M day. Two years ago, Android profits were around $31 Billion as revealed in the lawsuit. Oracle wanted $9.3B in damages. The two companies failed to agree on a settlement but Google eventually won.
Now a few years later, the tides may turn as an appeals court just said Google’s use of Oracle’s Java codes to develop Android was actually a violation of the Oracle’s copyrights. The ruling was made Tuesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This means the possible end of the feud between the two who have been fighting.
This could also mean a big thing for Silicon Valley where companies have differing opinions on the issue. We know it’s not only Google and Oracle fighting over the same situation and so this “fair use” decision could have a new impact on the software industry. It was the Federal Circuit that made the decision but there is a possibility this could go to the Supreme Court.
Java is supposed to be open and free but the court reversed the earlier decision. This may affect other apps and related online services that use such and may be expensive for the consumers. This may also harm future development of software programs and platforms.
Oracle contends its APIs are free for devs who want to come up with apps and programs for mobile devices and computers but not for a competing platform or actually embed them in a device. Android may be free but it “does not make Google’s use of the Java API packages noncommercial” according to a three-judge Federal Circuit panel.
Oracle may be winning this time but we have a feeling this war isn’t over yet. Google could bring this to the Supreme Court but note the latter declined to review the case back in 2014. This is an interesting twist and we’re definitely curious now more than ever how the story will end.
March 27, 2018 at 08:53PM