On Monday, the Supreme Court of the US ruled that Google could legally use some of Oracle’s Java code in Android.
It was a 6-3 ruling by the Supreme Court, and in the opinion wrote, Google’s copying of the API to reimplement a user interface, taking only what was needed to allow users to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, constituted a fair use of that material.”
This is a trial that has been on-going for more than a decade at this point. And finally Google has a decision in its favor, from the highest court in the land.
Google v Oracle first started in August 2010
Oracle first brought up the copyright infringement to Google back in August 2010. That initial trial lasted until 2018, when a verdict was finally rendered, in favor of Oracle. After the case was ruled in favor of Oracle, Google petitioned to bring it to the Supreme Court. And both sides argued their side of the case back in October, with the decision coming out six months later.
The case has also changed a few times, about what exactly Oracle was suing Google over. Seeing as it has spanned over three trials and two distinct appeals. But the current phase of it includes about 11,500 lines of code, which represents around 37 separate APIs. Google did develop these APIs independently, but they are definitely based on Java APIs, which is owned by Oracle. And Oracle claims that “their structure, sequence, and organization” is so similar, that it violates Oracle’s copyright on Java.
This case is likely far from being over. But this is definitely good news for Google. Its stock popped nearly 3% when the news broke on Monday, so investors are quite happy with this ruling as well. But you can bet that Oracle will definitely appeal this decision.
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