Google's battle with Oracle moves toward closing arguments

Google's battle with Oracle moves toward closing arguments

A heated lawsuit between tech giants Google and Oracle will move to closing arguments next week.

Lawyers in the case finished laying out evidence on Thursday, and summations will begin on Monday.

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The case has drawn several major figures to a federal courtroom in California, including Google founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page and Oracle CEO Safra Catz.

The case concerns an obscure but important legal dispute.

Google, in creating its Android operating system for smartphone, mimicked some commands that are part of the Java programming language, owned by Oracle. Oracle says it should be able to copyright the code — part of an application programming interface, which lets one piece of software talk to another — while Google argues it could copy the commands on fair use grounds.

Some argue that the outcome of the years-long case could have profound effects on software development because developers would be required to ask for permission to use certain types of code in some cases, potentially slowing the pace of innovation.

The lower court, in the Northern District of California, is hearing the case after the Supreme Court declined to consider Google’s request that they review a ruling favorable to Oracle. They did so at the urging of the Obama administration, and the case has reportedly lead to heated debate in the White House — where some staffers have ties to Google.

Page testified on Thursday. According to Ars Technica, he was grilled for about 20 minutes by an Oracle lawyer. A Google lawyer then examined him.

During Catz’s appearance earlier in the week, she was asked whether Oracle had purchased Sun, which created Java, in order to file a copyright lawsuit against Google.

"We did not buy Sun to file this lawsuit,” she reportedly said.