No New Java Trial For Oracle Versus Google, Court Rules

September 28, 2016 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Back in May, the seemingly eternal legal drama between Oracle and Google over alleged copyright infringement related to the use of Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in earlier versions of the Android operating system was put to an end. The jury decided that Google’s not guilty of any kind of wrongdoing and that its usage of Java APIs fell under the legal doctrine of fair use. Not surprisingly, Oracle’s lawyers were far from pleased with this outcome given how they were suing for up to $9 Billion in damages and obviously believed they were in the right. After all, no one would invest in years-long legal battle with one of the biggest tech giants on the planet if they thought they have no chance of winning it.

Because of that, Oracle’s legal team didn’t give up and followed through with the announcement of appeals made back in May. Unfortunately for the company, it failed to bring Google back to the courtroom as the Californian federal court has just denied its appeal for a repeated trial. Oracle appealed the decision from May and asked for another trial on the basis of Google allegedly hiding evidence and information regarding the so-called ARC++ project. The goal of that project was to bring Android apps to Chrome OS without any effort from the original developers. Oracle claimed this was controversial because such a solution would implement all of the public APIs previously used by Android, including the ones from Java the company initially sued Google for.

Not surprisingly, the appeal didn’t work because of several reasons. For starters, judge William Alsup at the District Court in California actually managed to find several instances of Google mentioning the ARC++ project in 2015 and scolded the Oracle’s legal team for failing to properly review court documents. Secondly, judge Alsup also pointed out that the evidence Oracle claims Google concealed has no bearing on the trial which ended in May because that lawsuit was specifically filed over alleged copyright infringement in Android solutions for smartphones and tablets. Both parties are yet to comment on this turn of events but it’s still hard to predict whether a third Java trial is a possibility in the future. Namely, Oracle still has some legal remedies at its disposal and will likely try to appeal to higher judicial bodies before dropping the matter.