Oracle: Google has 'destroyed' the market for Java

In a new court filing, Oracle has broadened the scope of its complaint to reflect Android's ongoing success

Generic snap for court issues

Generic snap for court issues

Credit: IDG

Oracle has expanded the scope of its ongoing copyright battle against Android and accused Google of "destroying" the market for Java.

Oracle made a request late last month to broaden its case against Android. Now, a supplemental complaint filed Wednesday in San Francisco district court encompasses the six new Android versions that have come out since Oracle originally filed its case back in 2010: Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, Kit Kat and Lollipop.

"As with previous versions of Android, these six Android releases copy thousands of lines of source code from the Java platform, as well as the structure, sequence and organization of that platform," Oracle charged. "Just as before, this copying constitutes copyright infringement."

Oracle also noted that Android has expanded beyond smartphones over the years to include wearable devices, TVs, cars and various household appliances. Advertising on the mobile platform has increased dramatically as well, it said, thereby bolstering Google's core source of revenue and allowing the search giant to "reap enormous profits from both its direct and indirect exploitation of the infringing code."

As a result of all this, Oracle's Java business has been seriously harmed, it said.

"Given the widespread dominance Android has achieved with its continued unauthorized use of the 37 Java API packages over the past few years, Android has now irreversibly destroyed Java's fundamental value proposition as a potential mobile device operating system," Oracle wrote.

Oracle seeks a declaratory judgment, an injunction, damages and an order covering its costs and attorney's fees.

Google declined to comment for this story. Oracle did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

In May 2012, a San Francisco jury decided that Google infringed Oracle's copyright, but it was split on the question of fair use, which permits copying under limited circumstances. The judge in the case, William Alsup, later decided that Oracle's Java programming interfaces were ineligible for copyright protection.

A federal appeals court partially reversed that decision in May 2014, ruling that programming interfaces in Oracle's Java technology can be protected under U.S. copyright law. Google then appealed to the Supreme Court, which rejected the case in June.

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Tags copyrightOracleGooglelegalintellectual property

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Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
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