oracle logo mwc 2015The verdict is in, and Google has beaten Oracle. Today, after three days of deliberation, a jury in San Francisco federal court found that Android’s usage of 37 Java APIs is protected by fair use, so there was no need for Google to acquire a license before using the code. This seems to close a copyright battle that has sprawled across six years and two trials, although Oracle’s appeal of this recent ruling is probably inevitable.

The owner of Java was seeking  $9.3 billion from Google in what it claimed were damages and lost licensing revenue. During the trial, Google leaned heavily on Eric Schmidt, a current chairman of Alphabet who previously worked at Sun Microsystems while Java was being developed. Schmidt testified that Sun developed and promoted Java APIs as ‘free and open,’ not to be sold or licensed separately from Java. Sun was acquired by Oracle in 2010, which is when the company began pursuing Google for damages. In 2012, US District Judge William Alsup ruled that APIs could not be copyrighted, but Oracle appealed, and the ruling was overturned. This year’s trial focused on only one issue: does Google’s use of these specific 37 APIs fall under fair use?

See also:

Android N doing away with Oracle’s Java APIs, OpenJDK to be the new standard

December 29, 2015

Oracle repeatedly pointed out that Google copied 11,500 lines of code for use in Android, calling their actions a “shortcut at Oracle’s expense” and “stealing.” The search giant argued that they were not copying lines of code per se, since the Java language is ‘free and open’ to use. A better description would be to say that they were re-implementing Java APIs under fair use. Google further argued that Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, was initially an Android fan but “changed his mind after he had tried to use Java to build his own smartphone and failed to do it.” The jury sided with Google: their use of Java APIs has been found to be ‘fair use.’

After the victory, Google issued a statement to the following effect:

Today’s verdict that Android makes fair use of Java APIs represents a win for the Android ecosystem, for the Java programming community, and for software developers who rely on open and free programming languages to build innovative consumer products.

What do you think of Google’s victory over Oracle this week? Was justice served, or has Oracle been swindled out of billions in potential earnings, not to mention the millions spent on the lawsuit? Let us know in the comments below.

Next: Google’s use of Java in Android is worth $9.3 billion, according to Oracle

  • Like most languages, Java will find its way to the back of the line, sooner or later.

  • Arman

    I’m glad they won..

  • smokebomb

    What a waste of time

  • I’m glad they won. But I hope they will move on to other programming language to make Android faster and better.

    • I’m hoping swift

      • GreaterLesser

        That’s what they are expected to more to but there’s not official say unless I missed something

        • xoj_21

          swift is not open but not multiplatform, it will not run in all android as well as ART runtime apps do

      • Rumors state Google could change Android’s language to Swift.

      • Christopher Rucinski

        @MistahRandom:disqus @rcmero:disqus @greaterlesser:disqus Google completely denied that Swift will ever come to Android via Google IO 2016. There was a fireside chat in which Swift was brought up. A poll of the audience showed very little support from the developers, and Google said they will not be bringing Swift to Android. They don’t even know how the rumor started.

    • You know that rewriting a software as big as Android in a completely different programming language from scratch is impossible, don’t you?

      • Little hard-work today for better tomorrow.

        • We are not talking about “little hard-work”, we are talking about transiting millions of lines of code into a completely new language, that has major differences from Java, not to mention rewriting the API and SDK and providing a middleware tool to “translate” Java calls from older apps to “Swift” calls and so on.
          If they ever decide that (and that’s an immensely giant “if”), the development process won’t kick off for at least 3-5 years, until Swift reaches the same “feature-complete” level as Java is today, after 8 versions and two decades of development. Imagine how many hours of development time, quality assurance, testing and deployment will this process require and the millions of dollars that should be spent for the so called “better tomorrow”. That ain’t gonna happen.

          • Meh :/

          • Plus, Swift -except for some very certain scenarios- is slower than Java. I don’t think that they will ditch a programming language for a slower one just because the latter is the extra popular “Swift”.

          • Jason Harris

            Well said Batman ?


    “Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, was initially an Android fan but ‘changed his mind after he had tried to use Java to build his own smartphone and failed to do it.'”


    • En Force

      That hit them right in the APIs hahah 😂

  • John Doe

    Yaaaay!! Maybe Google can use the $9billion (it would have lost) to move Google Fiber along faster .. like to Canada !!
    I just read an article that states that Google Canada is looking for a ‘Experience Researcher – Google Fiber’

    Speed test ..
    According to the latest Netflix Speed Index for North America, Bell’s Fibre optic service came out on top, with an average speed of 3.73 Mbps. Google Fiber offers data transfer speeds that hit a stealthy 1 Gbps.
    So this would be fantastic ..!!

    • zeth006

      They didn’t lose $9b.

      • John Doe

        You not read good.. Yes? ‘It WOULD have lost’
        Oh, there’s the school bell… time to get back to 4th grade ENGLISH again dude …

  • s2weden2000

    nice try …

  • eclectice

    I am happy, bro as a developer working on system integration between platforms using Java.

  • 1213 1213

    Wait, so they bought the company and then decided to sue Google the same year? Quite proactive for a patent troll.

  • Choda Boy

    IMHO, Oracle was just trying to extort money not owed to them and now are faced with a crappy language used by fewer and fewer developers. Can we sue Oracle for the security sieve known as the Java web browser plugin?

  • Oracle should reimburse Google the millions Google spent on the trial, Micro$oft sponsored Oracle’s suit, M$ is the real enemy of Android!