Google just put another win under its belt in the Google-Oracle patent lawsuit. The case looked to be wrapped up when a jury found Google not guilty of infringing on Oracle’s patents earlier this month.
In the first part of the trial, which focused on copyrights held by Oracle, a jury found that Google had infringed on Oracle’s structure, sequence, and organization (SSO) of its application programming interfaces (API). At the time, Judge William Alsup said he was reviewing Oracle’s claim to copyright an SSO, but requested that the jury consider it copyrighted. Now, the judge is reversing the jury’s decision saying that Oracle doesn’t have the right to copyright the SSO of an API.
In essence, letting Oracle win this one is to say that competing technologies are not allowed to come up with a similar structure to their APIs, lest they be subjected to a copyright lawsuit.
“To accept Oracle’s claim would be to allow anyone to copyright one version of code to carry out a system of commands and thereby bar all others from writing their own different versions to carry out all or part of the same commands,” said Alsup in a statement. “No holding has ever endorsed such a sweeping proposition.”
Oracle will appeal the decision and has released the following statement:
Oracle is committed to the protection of Java as both a valuable development platform and a valuable intellectual property asset. It will vigorously pursue an appeal of this decision in order to maintain that protection and to continue to support the broader Java community of over 9 million developers and countless law abiding enterprises. Google’s implementation of the accused APIs is not a free pass, since a license has always been required for an implementation of the Java Specification. And the court’s reliance on “interoperability” ignores the undisputed fact that Google deliberately eliminated interoperability between Android and all other Java platforms. Google’s implementation intentionally fragmented Java and broke the “write once, run anywhere” promise. This ruling, if permitted to stand, would undermine the protection for innovation and invention in the United States and make it far more difficult to defend intellectual property rights against companies anywhere in the world that simply takes them as their own.
via The Verge; Image photoshop by Tom Cheredar