Oracle reopens legal battle with Google


Oracle filed an appeal brief on Friday night reviving its copyright and patent claim lawsuit against Google over a dispute regarding the company’s Android mobile operating system.

The brief, filed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, aims to overrule a federal jury’s decision in May that Google did nothing illegal. The appeal is the latest iteration of the dispute which formally started in 2010 and has since been to two federal trials and multiple appeals courts.

{mosads}Oracle contends in the seven-year legal battle that Google’s use of Oracle software, specifically its use of Java API in its Android OS, violates copyright law.

“When a plagiarist takes the most recognizable portions of a novel and adapts them into a film, the plagiarist commits the ‘classic’ unfair use,” Oracle wrote in their appeal referencing ‘fair use’ provisions in copyright law. “Google’s copying in this case is the software equivalent of this classic unfair use.”

The company argued that Google “reaped enormous commercial benefits from copying … Java APIs,” to explicitly “target and steal Oracle’s customers.”

Google declined to comment on the appeal. In May, however, Google issued a statement in support of the jury’s decision.

“Today’s verdict that Android makes fair use of Java APIs represents a win for the Android ecosystem, for the Java programming community, and for software developers who rely on open and free programming languages to build innovative consumer products,” a Google spokesperson said.

The jury that issued the decision in May said that Google’s actions were legal under “fair use” in copyright law — the doctrine that excerpts of copyrighted material can be legally used without permission in some situations.

Oracle did not immediately respond to request for comment on the appeal.

The almost decade-long legal dispute is only a part of the bad blood that exists between the two companies. In May, a Fortune report found that Oracle was a contributor to the “The Google Transparency Project,” a non-profit with the expressed purpose of scrutinizing Google. In 2012, Oracle joined an anti-Google lobbying group.


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