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Google and Oracle Fight Over Use of Code Lines
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Oracle vs Google

Summary: Oracle claims Google’s use of organizing code for their Android system from Java APIs goes against their copyright.

The case between Oracle and Google over the charge that Google copied 7,000 lines of code for its Android system is headed back to U.S. District Judge William Alsup’s courtroom. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the petition for certiorari from Google.


The copyright dispute between the two companies over Java’s application programming interface was ruled in 2014 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to be that the Javas application program interface was able to be copyrighted.

Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley called the ruling “a win for innovation and for the technology industry that relies on copyright protection to fuel innovation”. Oracle was represented by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe attorney E. Joshua Rosenkranz and by Kirkland & Ellis. The case will now move to a retrial where it will be decided if Google has a fair-use defense to use the lines of code that Oracle acquired when they bought Sun Microsystems for $5.6 billion in 2010. Google used the lines to help app providers write programs to be used on the Android operating system.

Google will argue that the code they used helps organize subprograms and since it only serves this function and saves independent programmers from having to learn new command structures, that it is not copyrightable. Oracle will argue that licensing is important and could be worth upwards of a billion dollars.

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Google was represented by King & Spalding, with Daryl Joseffer at lead with the Supreme Court and Keker & Van Nest with Robert Van Nest at lead for the Federal Circuit trial.

David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner with Michael Jacobs of Morrison & Foerster represented Oracle. Orrick attorneys Annette Hurst and Peter Bicks along with three others appeared before the Judge Alsup in preparation for the retrial.




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