The Business Times

Oracle may revive claims against Google

Java shortcuts to perform basic functions eligible for copyright protection: court

Published Sun, May 11, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[WASHINGTON] Oracle Corp won a US appeals court bid to revive claims that Google Inc copied its Java programming language to develop the Android operating system, in a case that split Silicon Valley.

The shortcuts created by Java to perform basic functions such as connecting to the Internet are eligible for copyright protection, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ruled last Friday. The court reinstated a jury's 2012 finding that Google infringed the copyrights, and sent the case back to let Google argue it had fair use of the technology.

Oracle had sought more than US$1 billion in damages, claiming Google used Java code without paying because it was in a rush to create Android, which has become the world's most popular smartphone platform. The case divided the industry between companies that write interface code and those that rely on it to develop software programs.

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