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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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