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Google v/s Oracle: The former file supplemental brief in Supreme Court



  • Google commented that the decision in their favour will benefit developers, consumers and innovation
  • Oracle sued Google for using the Java software to develop the Android smartphone operating system
  • The decade long battle on copyright infringement will have a final hearing on October 

Interoperability is the augment

Search Engine giant Google has filed a supplemental brief in The United States Supreme court in order to save the software development. Google v/s Oracle began when the latter accused google of using 37 java API’s structure, sequence and organization into Android OS.

Kent Walker, Google’s chief legal officer said that the refreshment of augmenting was not just to have the decision in their favour. A recent blogpost by Walker claimed. “The interoperability of open software interfaces is what lets different technologies like apps work together on a variety of devices and platforms. Our legal case with Oracle turns on our belief that interoperability has been good for innovation, good for developers, and good for consumers”

He said that the court’s decision in favour of Oracle can harm the consumer’s freedom.

“It would upend the way developers have always used software interfaces, locking them into existing platforms and giving copyright owners new power to control the building blocks of new technologies,” he argued.

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Google v/s Oracle: A long battle

Oracle acquired the Java Code developed by Silicon Valley server and software pioneer Sun Microsystems in 2010. The lawsuit against Google was filed in 2010 seeking a penalty of $9 billion, $475 million damages in addition to the $8.8 billion relating to the “infringed Java Copyrights”.

The companies took the issues to court in 2012. However, the jury was unable to decide whether Google’s use of Java was legal or not.

Two years after this, Oracle appealed the court which turned out to be favourable for them. In 2016, Google’s use of API’s was cleared to be legal under the copyright laws. Oracle again appealed this decision overturning the jury in their favour. Last year Google filed a petition in the U.S Supreme Court to review this decision

 Did Google overlook certain lines?

Like Apple and Microsoft, Google is at liberty to write its own code for its Android smartphones, which can even be similar in function to Java’s code. However, Google’s decision to simply copy the code might have crossed some lines that have led to the infringement issues.

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