Federal appeals court refuses to hear Google's appeal in Oracle suit over Java APIs

Federal appeals court refuses to hear Google's appeal in Oracle suit over Java APIs
Back in May 2012, a district court judge threw out a lawsuit that Oracle filed against Google. The latter was accused of using some of Oracle's Java APIs to design APIs used for the Android OS. More precisely, Oracle said that Google copied more than 37 Java APIs, and 11 lines of Java source code for Android without permission. The judge ruled that APIs are not copyrightable, leading to his dismissal of the case. But Oracle appealed the decision two years later, and was rewarded with a 69-page decision in its favor. The case was remanded back to lower court.

Eventually, in 2015 the Federal Circuit overturned the initial ruling from the district court and said that APIs can have a copyright and that Google's "Fair Use" defense was not valid. According to the judge, "The fact that Android is free of charge does not make Google’s use of the Java API packages noncommercial." In March of this year, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Oracle and asked a lower court in San Francisco to determine how much Google should pay in damages. Oracle is seeking $8.8 billion.

More bad news for Google came today as a U.S. federal appeals court declined to rehear the case by a panel or en banc. The latter is an appeal heard by all of the judges of the court. That leaves the Supreme Court, and Google said that it will take its appeal all the way to the highest court in the land. Back in 2014, Google sought help from the Supreme Court in an effort to overturn another federal appeals court ruling in favor of Oracle; the request was denied.


Android users should not worry about the final outcome of this legal matter. Starting with Android Nougat, the Java APIs in Android were replaced with OpenJDK, which is an open source version of Oracle's Java Development Kit.


source: RegMedia via CNET

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8 Comments

1. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

All those paid for BS studies by Oracle's hitman about Google have done their job then. Apple's media mouth pieces like iPA also deserve credit for this ruling. Biasing aging judges and the public in general is a hard task. The one judge who understood programming threw the case out. Yet the senility of the US Justice system can definitely be counted on to screw over the rulings of leveler heads. No doubt the current supreme court will not know much better.

6. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

This suit is the only reason Oracle bought the dying Sun (Microsystem) 8 years ago.

2. Phullofphil

Posts: 1832; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

They copied apple iOS to get where it’s at. Where there money. A lot of these lawsuits are frivolous and I think are out of hand. Is the most people that are really getting paid are the lawyers but also with this kind of system is holding back tech. Speaking of the Pantint system. The best thing that can happen with technology is if everyone did their knowledge together and built-up previous ideas. Peoples ideas are rightfully theirs and they should make some money off of it but it’s holding back progress. If everything was an open source with a way for people to make there money we probably would be ten or twenty years down the road in technology. The lawsuit is bull crap and it should be dropped. There should have been a time limit on when they could sue and not just afternots successful.

9. vincelongman

Posts: 5761; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

So what? Apple copied others Those others copied others

5. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Now, add that to the approximately $5 billion that it owes to the European Commission in their anti-trust action, and it looks like Android is about to become more expensive. Android had a good run as a free and open OS, but it is now nearly inevitable that they will have to charge something for it, with that much litigation liability sitting on Google's shoulders. Roughly $14 billion in litigation charged to Google, between the Oracle and EU decisions...

12. yalokiy

Posts: 1116; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Those EU decisions were sponsored in the background by Oracle and Microsoft.

14. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Its as if they have decided that if they can't force Android to license as a branch of UNIX (the Linus Torvalds Linux-origin debate), they are at least going to break them over a handful of Java API's. They are having to find odd excuses to throw the baby out with the bathwater... and that is exactly what they are trying to do. A small group of seriously overzealous people really wants everyone to "pay their fair share" for computing power in order to line their own pockets. They are willing to ruin the current landscape of inexpensive devices in order to do it, too.

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