In the latest flashpoint of a long-running legal dispute between Google and Oracle on whether the Alphabet Inc.-owned Google LLC.’s use of 11,330 lines of Oracle’s java code to build Android OS, had violated US federal copyright law, the US Supreme Court had ruled in favour of Google in a 6-2 decision and overturned a lower court ruling that accused Google of copyright infringement while building its Android OS by capitalizing on Oracle’s Java codes, handing over a breakthrough triumph to the world’s No.
1 internet services provider. In point of fact, regardless of an upscaled unfairness that the ruling might have fostered, writing for the majority, Justice Stephen Breyer was quoted saying in the verdict, had Oracle been allowed to enforce a copyright on its code that had been used to construct the Android OS, the verdict in effect would harm public interest by creating a lock on future Android programs with Oracle alone holding the key.
Aside from that, the Justice added that Google’s usage of Oracle’s java codes in Android OS, could not be contemplated as an unfair act under US federal copyright law, making Google’s handling of Oracle codes in Android OS permissible under a 1976 copyright act.
US Supreme Court favours Google over Oracle on Android OS copyright case
Simply put, Oracle and Google, two major Californian tech behemoths with combined annual revenues more than $175 billion, engaged in a rattling legal battle since 2010 after Oracle had sued Google in a San Francisco Federal Court over Google’s unfair use of Oracle’s Java codes in construction of Android OS, nonetheless, later in 2018, Google appealed in a Federal Circuit in Washington after a lower court had ruled against it.
However, while the latest Supreme Court ruling would spare Google a potentially damaging $8 billion in claims which might have soared as high as $20-$30 billion, citing that the verdict would help Google get bigger while exacerbating a sheer lack in market competitiveness, Oracle’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Dorian Daley said following the court verdict, “They stole Java and spent a decade litigating as only a monopolist can.
This behaviour is exactly why regulatory authorities around the world and in the United States are examining Google’s business practices”.