24 January 2019

Google asks the Supreme Court of the USA to close the case of Oracle copyright

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24 January 2019
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Google Alphabet asked the US Supreme Court on Thursday to reverse a ruling resurrecting a billion dollar copyright case brought by the Oracle Corp in 2010.

Google urged the High Court to rule that its copy of Oracle's Java programming language was permitted under US copyright law to create the Android operating system.

A jury cleared Google in 2016, but the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeal overturned this verdict in March 2018 and launched a jury trial to determine monetary damages.

Google said that Oracle's decision on the Federal Circuit was "a devastating one- two punch in the software industry" that would chill innovation.

Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley said in a statement that Google has already discredited arguments.
" The manufactured concern about innovation hides Google's real concern: the unrestricted ability to copy other people's original and valuable work for substantial financial gains," Daley said.

The dispute involves how much copyright protection should be extended to the Java programming language of Oracle, which Google used to design the Android operating system running most smartphones in the world.

Oracle seeks royalties for the unauthorized use by Google of parts of the Java language known as application programming interfaces( APIs) that allow different computer programs to talk to each other.

Google said that copyright protection should not be extended to APIs, as they are essential tools for software development.

Google also argued that their copying is permitted under fair- use defense, which allows the unlicensed use of copyrighted works for research purposes.

The litigation has already reversed fortune several times.

Following a deadlocked jury verdict in 2012, a San Francisco federal judge sided with Google and said the APIs could not be protected by copyright.

The Federal Circuit disagreed in 2014 and led to a second jury trial in 2016 on whether Google was protected by the defense against fair use.

During the 2016 trial, Oracle argued that Google copied Java for being desperate to go into the smartphone market, and internal e- mails indicated that representatives of companies thought that they had to pay for a license.

Google countered that the APIs were written for personal computers and transformed them into smartphones in a way that did no economic harm to Oracle.

The jury supported Google, denying Oracle's bid for about $ 9 billion in damages.

In its 2018 decision, the Federal Circuit stated that Google could not invoke fair use defense because it copied the Java APIs literally and "for the same function and purpose."

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