Daily Management Review

Face Off for Google and Oracle over Innovation Label in Android Retrial


05/11/2016




Face Off for Google and Oracle over Innovation Label in Android Retrial
A $9 billion copyright retrial has brought Oracle Corp and Google face to face in a legal battle over program copy rights.
 
In the law suit Oracle has accused Google of stealing programming which helped the latter to become the world's leading smartphone player. On the other hand Google saying it acted legally as a true innovator.
 
Copyright on parts of the Java programming language of Oracle was violated by Google's Android smartphone operating system, claimed the former in the law suit. On the other hand in its defense, Alphabet Inc's Google says under the fair-use provision of copyright law, the company should be able to to use Java without paying a fee to Oracle.
 
A jury deadlock resulted in a stalling of the dispute after it had gone to trial in 2012. Oracle's $9 billion damages request would be considered by the jury if the new jury in San Francisco federal court rules against Google on fair use.
 
Software developers fear an Oracle victory could spur more software copyright lawsuits as they are keeping a close watch on the case. The possibility of an injunction that would force Google to pay ongoing royalties to Oracle appears remote to investors and even then, they see little risk for Google because the company could afford to pay a one-off fine.
 
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, personally unveiled the programming language in 1995 when he was a top executive at Sun Microsystems, which invented it, testified in court on Tuesday that he always believed Google could freely use Java because. Oracle claims the software as the company later acquired Sun.
  
Google improperly used Java to quickly deliver an Android smartphone to market, argues Oracle. He had been on Apple's board and felt "strategic pressure" from the iPhone in 2007, Schmidt acknowledged when he was put under cross examination.
 
Limited use of material without acquiring permission from the rights holder for purposes such as research is allowed under U.S. copyright law’s “fair use" clause.
 
About 100,000 Android smartphones will have been activated by the time he finished his hour-long opening statement, said Oracle attorney Peter Bicks. He said that all those phones contained Oracle's property and that translated into $42 billion in revenue.
 
Bricks called it the "fair-use excuse" and said that Google's defense cannot cover what they did with Java.
 
So long as the company adds something innovative, fair use allows a company to use copyrighted material to make money, said Google attorney Robert Van Nest. He said that it was not the tiny portion of Java owned by Oracle but Google's talented engineers who were responsible for developing Android.
 
"They want all the credit for Android's success, and apparently billions of dollars in damages, but the evidence isn't going to support that," Van Nest said in opening statements.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com) 






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