updated 08:49 pm EDT, Fri July 13, 2012
Federal appeals court likely next venue for Oracle
After multiple defeats in its Android patent-violation lawsuit against Google, Oracle has suffered another -- not entirely unexpected -- setback. Judge William Alsup has denied Oracle's month-old motion for a retrial in his court, forcing Oracle to try and interest a federal appeals court. Oracle, which brought the lawsuit believing it had a clear-cut case of Google stealing code, saw Judge Alsup dismiss the copying as trivial and the jury deadlocked on what if any damages were due. Ultimately, Alsup ruled that Oracle was entitled to nothing and furthermore, was responsible for Google's legal bills.
During the trial, Oracle tried to sue Google for plagiarizing some 37 instances of Java code in Android. Google's self titled "Chief Java Architect" Joshua Bloch admitted to "likely" copying nine lines of Oracle's Java code for Google's Android during the contentious trial, but defended himself by saying he had inadvertently reused an algorithm he designed nearly a decade prior. Bloch called the copying "good engineering practice".
Ultimately, the jury found duplicated code, but no infringement. The case is responsible for a precedent-setting ruling confirming the non-copyrightable nature of application programming interfaces, or APIs -- the instructions to developers on how to build their own applications for a given platform. The language in the 41-page brief clearly attempts to prevent future legal procedural maneuvers from undermining the ruling.