Oracle vs. Google Java case to continue

Oracle's claims Google infringed a number of Java copyrights will be given further scrutiny, after a summary judgment is denied.


Google has failed to convince a court that Oracle's copyright claims over Java use in Android lacked substance.

An ongoing court case between the two tech behemoths is trying to ascertain whether Google stole Oracle's copyrighted Java code when creating the Android OS.

Oracle's claims still required scrutiny, according to US District Judge William Alsup, who ruled no good cause had been shown to "engage in a summary judgment battle at this time," according to documents obtained by software patent blogger Florian Mueller.

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A summary judgment would mean a decision could be made on the case without a full trial being held, but this has not been granted as yet.

Google could have another appeal for such a judgment granted as the case continues and more evidence emerges.

In Oracle's successful letter in opposition to Google's motion, Larry Ellison's firm said the search giant "derived its Android code from the specifications for hundreds of Oracle's copyrighted Java files."

Furthermore, Oracle claimed it had identified 14 registered copyrights Google had infringed.

"While copyrights can be registered in the US, registration isn't mandatory the way it works with, for example, patents," Mueller explained.

"So the total number of allegedly infringed copyrights can be higher if non-registered ones are included. Also, a copyright registration can contain many source code files, so this number isn't inconsistent with the allegation that hundreds of Java files were exploited by Google."

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Oracle also alleged "at least eight Android source code files [were] actually decompiled Oracle object code."

In January, Mueller said, on top of the initial seven alleged instances of copyright infringement, he had discovered six more files Oracle could use.

It appeared Oracle managed to find one more to bring to court.

In total, Oracle has claimed Google infringed seven patents and 14 registered copyrights.

Talking about the case at large, Mueller said he believed even if Google managed to stall the current court case, Oracle could place greater pressure on the search giant in other ways.

For example, Oracle could file a complaint with the US International Trade Commission and attempt to initiate import bans on Android device manufacturers within 16 to 18 months, Mueller explained.

"Furthermore, Oracle could elect to sue Google in other jurisdictions, just like Apple and Nokia are duking it out, not only in the US but also in three European countries," he added.

"Some of the patents Oracle asserts against Google have Chinese, Japanese and European counterparts."

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