Thu, 13 May 2021

WASHINGTON D.C.: Google has emerged victorious in a case filed by Oracle, as the U.S. Supreme Court that Google's use of the program coding of Oracle Corp for creating the Android operating system, found on the majority of the smartphone devices globally, did not amount to an infringement of copyrights.

In a 6-2 ruling handed down earlier this week, the court's judges concurred on revoking a verdict issued by a lower court that Google's incorporation of Java coding sections from Oracle for developing the Android OS violated the copyright law and did not count as "fair use."

The court's Justice Stephen Breyer, on behalf of the majority of the judges, stated that permitting enforcement of Oracle's copyright on its code would be disadvantageous to the people, since it would make it a "lock limiting the future creativity of new programs. Oracle alone would hold the key."

Californian IT heavyweights -- Oracle and Google -- clocking collective yearly revenues reaching over $175 billion, have been locking horns, as Oracle filed a lawsuit over a decade ago in a federal court in San Francisco alleging Google of having committed plagiarism. Alphabet Inc's Google appealed a judgement handed down in 2018 by the Court of Appeals, headquartered in Washington, to revive the lawsuit.

This decision salvages Google from a verdict that could mandate it to pay billions of dollars in damages.

Oracle had sued, with sights set on extracting over $8 billion from Google, although latest figures swell to between $20 and $30 billion, two knowledgeable sources revealed.

"The decision gives legal certainty to the next generation of developers, whose new products and services will benefit consumers," said Kent Walker, Senior VP of global affairs at Google.

In the lawsuit filed by Oracle, allegations of plagiarism were leveled against Google for copywriting 11,330 lines of coding from its Java SE program, in addition to the manner of organizing it for developing Android and pocketing revenue of several billion dollars. Android, the mobile operating system for which creators have come up with several million applications, is currently found in over 70 percent of mobile phones throughout the world.

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