Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the heated lawsuit going on between Oracle America and Google Inc. According to Oracle, Google infringed on their patented Java API to use for their Android operating system. To learn more about this lawsuit and how it may affect you, keep reading.
About The Lawsuit
Oracle is suing Google Inc. for a whopping $6 billion dollars in damages as a result of them using their Java API code on the Android operating system. If you aren’t familiar with Android, it’s a mobile operating system used for smart phones and tablet PC’s. Today, more than half of all smart phone users in the U.S. use the Android operating system. As you can tell from this statistic, Android has already beat the long-time champion Apple for the market of smart phone users. In addition, analysts only expect Android’s share of the market to grow as more users purchase and use their operating system.
In May of 2012, a judge ruled in the favor of Google stating that software API’s are not in fact covered by copyright laws. This gave Google the legal green light to continue using Oracle’s Java API code in their Android operating system.
The fact is that Google didn’t actually copy the exact Java API code to use in the Android operating system, but instead they used bits and pieces to custom code their own. Originally, the jury hearing the case between Oracle and Google couldn’t come to a decision as to whether or not the use of Java API is under the “fair use” practice. Court Judge William Alsup was forced to make the final ruling which stated that it was in fact used under the fair use practice.
Oracle Paying Google’s Legal Fees?
After the already painful blow to Oracle, Google is now seeking nearly $4 million dollars in legal expense fees. The legal battle which when on for well over a year was certainly and expensive endeavour for both sides involved. As in most multi-million dollar cases, the only real winners are the lawyers.
What Does This Lawsuit Mean?
Before the judge ruled in favor of Google, the entire stability and use of the Android operating system was threatened. If Oracle won, there’s a chance the Android system would have been forced to go through some major changes. Now that Google has come out victoriously, though, it’s safe to say that Android wont be going anywhere for a while, especially with the success they’re currently having.