This isn't the first time that Oracle Corp. is going nuclear against Google for patent infringement regarding the Android OS, but the company is showing no signs of backing down. After U.S. courts ruled that Oracle's infringement claims were baseless, the company has requested the U.S. appeals court to reconsider the decision.
According to Oracle representatives, Google has taken the best parts of the company's Java programming language to build the Android OS. Josh Rosenkranz, who is currently representing Oracle in their latest spat with Google, presented the case to a panel consisting of three judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Washington Federal Circuit. Rosenkran says that "Google took the code for its own uses, and it did it to leverage Oracle's fan base. Google was very careful to only use what was structural. No one was able to use the Java language as a smartphone platform."
The case is considered by many software companies to be an important issue due to the ramifications the outcome may have in the industry in general. In fact, Microsoft developers say that the outcome of the case "would destabilize the software industry." The case is especially crucial due to the fact that many software companies rely on the Java language to develop their software products.
Oracle originally had demanded $6 billion dollars but the company has since lowered the requested amount to $1 billion. While the amount may seem large for the average individual, Google can easily afford to settle the amount. However, the outcome of the current round of litigations will determine whether APIs are covered by copyright, which will have tremendous ramifications on how software products will be developed in the future.
The company brought charges against Google way back in 2010, for using 37 specific Java APIs during the development of Android. The APIs were originally owned by Sun Microsystems but they were picked up by Oracle when they bought Sun Microsystems during the same year.
The Federal Circuit handles cases that involve patent law and the case is expected to last for a few more months before any decision comes to light.