Friday, 19 August 2016 12:08

Oracle makes bid for third trial against Google

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Oracle has opened a bid for another trial in its long-running feud with Google, telling federal judge William Alsup that a jury verdict in May that went in favour of Google was marred by the search engine company not revealing that it planned to extend Android use to laptops and desktops.

In May, in the second trial between the two technology companies, Google was deemed by a jury to be covered by "fair use" when it utilised 37 Java APIs in its Android mobile operating system that dominates the smartphone market. At the time, Oracle said it would appeal the verdict.

In the court hearing on Wednesday, Oracle essentially argued that its claims for damages should have gone much further if the fact that Google was also using Android on desktops and laptops was taken into consideration.

But Justice Alsup did not allow Oracle to broaden its claims in the second trial because he wanted the trial to have the same scope as the first trial which ended in 2012.

However, he said at the time that the company could file a supplemental lawsuit to argue that other products from Google also infringed on its copyright.

On Wednesday, Justice Alsup ended the hearing after about two hours with a statement that he would consider Oracle's motion for a new trial and motion for judgement as a matter of law.

He told the parties to discuss and come to a settlement on a disputed US$2.9 million in legal expenses that Google is asking Oracle to pay.

Oracle sued Google in 2010 shortly after it purchased Sun Microsystems and became the owner of Java, claiming that the search engine company had violated its copyright and patents. That case ended in 2012 with Google being largely the victor. Justice Alsup also ruled that APIs could not be copyrighted.

But an appeal gave Oracle what it wanted: a ruling that APIs can be copyrighted. Thus, all that the jury in the case that ended in May had to decide was whether Google's use of 37 Java APIs in its Android mobile operating system was covered under fair use or not.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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