Oracle takes Java copyright dispute with Google to appeals court

A jury in California had decided that the use of Java APIs in Android was fair use

Oracle has taken its bid for up to US$9 billion in damages to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit after a judge in a federal court in California recently struck down its bid for a retrial in a copyright infringement suit against Google over the use of Java code in the Android operating system.

A jury had cleared Google of copyright infringement in May this year, upholding the company’s stand that its use of 37 Java APIs (application programming interfaces) in the Android mobile operating system constituted "fair use" under the Copyright Act, which allows copying of creative works under certain circumstances. Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California entered a final judgment in favor of Google on June 8.

Oracle had subsequently asked the district court for a new trial, which would be the third in this dispute. The company claimed, among other grounds, that Google had concealed information during discovery on its plans to integrate Android apps with the Chrome OS running on desktops and laptops, thus extending the scope of the infringement beyond smartphones and tablets.

Judge Alsup last month denied Oracle a new trial. He wrote in his decision that Google had produced at least nine documents discussing the goals and technical details of its ARC++ project in 2015, at least five months before trial, but the information was in any case not relevant to the trial which was limited to infringement in smartphones and tablets.

Oracle provided notice to the court Wednesday that it appeals to the Federal Circuit the June 8 final judgement, the order denying a retrial and other decisions by the court.

Google could not be immediately reached for comment. An Oracle lawyer had said after the trial that the company planned to appeal the jury verdict in the Federal Circuit.

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