Appeals court rules that Google infringed Oracle’s Java copyrights, orders trial on damages

“A federal appeals court revived Oracle Corp.’s multibillion-dollar copyright infringement claims against Alphabet Inc.’s Google, ruling Tuesday that Google’s use of Oracle’s Java programming technology was unfair,” Brent Kendall reports for The Wall Street Journal. “”

“The case has been subject to two trials. In the last one, jurors ruled Google’s use of the Java code was permitted as ‘fair use’ under federal copyright law,” Kendall reports. “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Tuesday overturned that holding. ‘We conclude that Google’s use of the Java API packages was not fair as a matter of law,’ the court wrote in a 56-page opinion.”

Kendall reports, “It sent the case back for a trial on how much damages Google should pay for infringement.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, the correct decision, despite the ludicrous length of time (a tech eon) it took to finally get to this point (and still more time to go).

U.S. jury finds Google didn’t need Oracle license for Android’s Java code, defeating $9 billion claim; Oracle vows appeal – May 26, 2016
U.S. Supreme Court lets Oracle press case that Google copied Java in rush to make Android – June 29, 2015
Before iPhone, Google’s plan was a Java button phone, Android docs reveal – April 14, 2014
Why Google really is evil – January 18, 2014
How Google reacted when Steve Jobs revealed the revolutionary iPhone – December 19, 2013
Oracle’s Larry Ellison continues Steve Jobs’ fight against Google’s Android – December 4, 2013
Steve Jobs: ‘I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product; I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this’ – October 20, 2011
Apple to ITC: Android started at Apple while Andy Rubin worked for us – September 2, 2011
New evidence shows Google may have directly copied Oracle IP in Android – January 21, 2011

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan” for the heads up.]


  1. Remember that the core of the Android operating system is based on the poached Java code. Without Java, Android is dead dead dead. Cross yer fingers for a trial affirming that this overturned decision will cost Google / Alphabet a boatload of loot.

    1. I understood that the majority of the API in question used the same naming interface but the coding in the function behind the API call was changed to suit Google’s vision for Android. The question is whether having functions of the same name is enough to infringe on Oracle’s Java to the level of the damages being proposed.

      If that aspect is not debated properly in court, I see a future where the decision will have repercussions in patent law where how (code in function) the idea is implement and not what (Interface), is being protected.

  2. 1. Roughly 8 billion Android smartphones have been sold between 2007 and 2017. Even at a measly $10 per phone, the fine could be $80 billion; at $50 a copy the restitution could be $400 billion.

    2. Will Alphabet begin charging manufacturers to use Android now? Will the price an Android phone rise $100 or $200?

    3. Will the owners of Java demand that apps written with Java APIs be shutdown?

    The future of Android seems very perilous.

  3. I am seriously wondering why Google did not simply removed any and all references to “Java” and copied code, once Oracle bitched.

    Google had the $s to rewrite the code and it wasn’t going to cost $80 or $400 billion.

    But then they had Eric Mole in the C suite, so I can guess why. Arrogance counts for a lot of stupidity.

  4. This news makes my day, smiling from ear to ear😁. Don’t get me wrong, my day was already fantastic, with an awesome hike at Rocky Mountain National Park, coming back into signal range I saw the drastic drop in screwggles was great, but this news of this, evil company’s, infringement is like I’m a child on Christmas morning 😆

  5. almost everything started here
    without that code google would never have succeeded in their android dominance in the phone market and subsequent earnings from the use of said android searches…from little seeds.
    I hope Google get a new arse ripped out over this!
    Two o’s in google!

  6. I’m thinking that in the end, Google pays nothing significant. Samsung proved that if you lie long enough and loud enough, you can get away with theft. Politicians have done it for generations.

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