A jury in San Francisco on 26 May 2016 cleared Google of copyright infringement in a case brought by Oracle over Google’s use of Java in Android. Oracle was seeking damages of up to $9 billion US dollars.
The jury of eight women and two men took three days to declare its verdict. The jury found that Android does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by fair use.
What was the case?
• Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc. was a dispute related to Oracle's copyright and patent claims on Google's Android operating system.
• Java was originally developed at Sun Microsystems starting in 1991. It included a new programming language, a virtual machine, and a set of libraries for use with the language.
• Android, Inc. was founded in 2003 to develop a mobile phone platform.
• Google purchased Android in 2005 and continued developing the Android operating system.
• On 5 November 2007, Google released a beta of the Android platform noting that it would use some Java technologies. Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz responded the same day, congratulating Google.
• Google released the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) on 12 November 2007.
• Amongst other APIs, Android included Apache Harmony implementations of some of the APIs from the Java SE specification.
• Google negotiated with Sun about possible partnership and licensing deals for Java, but no agreement was reached.
• Oracle purchased Sun in January 2010, and continued developing Java.
• Oracle sued Google for copyright and patent infringement in August 2010.
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