Google vs Oracle: Verdict coming in Android 'copying' case
1st May 2012 | 17:06
Jury retires to consider whether Google lifted Java
A crucial verdict in the courtroom battle between Google and software developer Oracle is imminent after a jury retired to consider the case.
Oracle alleges that Google unlawfully copied elements of its Java software, when it developed the Android mobile operating system, rather than pay a license fee.
Google admits it did utilise the Java API under the "fair use" policy, but then created its own software rather than "copy" the Java within Android.
If the jury decides Google is at fault, it may end up costing the search giant billions in compensation and unpaid licensing fees.
'Nothing to see here,' says Google
"There was no copying here because Google knew that it couldn't use Sun's source code," said Google legal eagle Robert Van Nest in his closing arguments.
"This kind of use of APIs in this way where you use the minimum you need to be compatible is fair use."
However, Oracle says there was nothing fair about Google's use of the Java software and without legal intervention, the software licensing infrastructure will fall apart.
"If Google can just take the APIs and be forgiven under fair use, that licensing falls apart," Oracle lawyer Michael Jacobs told the San Fransisco court.
The verdict will only bring to a close the first part of this complicated patent infringement case, with several more installments set to follow.
So far, 2012 has been the year of the patent wars and that trend is showing no sign of relenting.