SCOTUS Justice Gorsuch: Apple’s didn’t need to copy anyone to invent iPhone, so why did Google?

Alphabet’s Google got a mixed reception at the U.S. Supreme Court as it sought to overturn a ruling that could force the company to pay billions of dollars for copying Oracle’s copyrighted code in the Android operating system.

Google breakup. Image: Google logo

Greg Stohr, Naomi Nix and Susan Decker for Bloomberg:

The justices on Wednesday questioned Google’s contention that it had no way to replicate the code without forcing millions of software developers to learn a new programming language.

Justice Neil Gorsuch told Google’s lawyer that Apple Inc. and other companies have “come up with phones that work just fine without engaging in this kind of copying.”

Oracle says it’s entitled to at least $8.8 billion in damages. A jury found that Google’s code copying was a legitimate fair use, but a federal appeals court reversed that finding.

In a skeptical line of questioning, Chief Justice John Roberts likened Google’s actions to those of a safe-cracker. “Cracking the safe may be the only way to get the money that you want, but that doesn’t mean that you can do it,” Roberts told Google’s lawyer, Thomas Goldstein. “If it’s the only way, the way for you to get it is to get a license.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor suggested she was was more sympathetic to Google. She asked Oracle’s lawyer, Joshua Rosenkranz, why the court “should now upend what the industry has viewed as the copyrightable elements” of computer code.

The Motion Picture Association, which represents the Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Netflix Inc., and the News Media Alliance, which represents news outlets such as The New York Times and News Corp., were among the trade organizations that filed briefs in the case.

The Trump administration also is backing Oracle.

MacDailyNews Take: Android is a stolen product in more ways than one.

I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this. – Steve Jobs

Apple won the war by relegating Android to undesirable, low- or no-profit demographics.

Hopefully, after far too many years, the courts will compensate Oracle at least somewhat for Google’s blatant, line-for-line theft.

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


  1. Republicans the last great hope for accountability and fairness for big Tech. Big techs reply we gonna vote for that guy that will destroy us both

    1. Google took (copied) Java code from (Sun Computer) line by line, the code critical to have a working mobile OS.

      Trumpet isn’t going to save anyone he’s still crying about Kylie Kardashian being a billionaire.

    2. That’s it in a nutshell.

      The Democrat Congress wants to take down big tech and a Republican appointed Supreme Court Justice and the president are far more measured and supportive of Apple’s position.

      Two theories:

      1~ Congress announcements chastising Big Tech recently possibly trying to shakedown more campaign donations to the Democrat Party, the ageless technique of swamp politicians.

      2~ Apparently it worked with Apple as earlier media reports indicate 95% of political donations from Apple went to Democrats. Yowsa!!! 👎🏻

      Certainly appears Apple, parallel construction example to China manufacturing, putting all your eggs in one basket — AGAIN! Time will tell if the money gamble will pay off.

      Personally, prefer Apple would steer clear and not endorse any political party and not donate one penny to any campaign and remain NEUTRAL. But if you are going to donate, closer to 50/50 distribution of wasteful campaign contributions is certainly much more fair and balanced and customers from all parties will NOTICE.

      For all of President Trump’s Apple support and certainly would do much more Tim if you worked together, you are falling in line for partisan politics and not working across the aisle, SAD.

      We shall see…

  2. Koh Fish. SHE is the problem. A judge siding with WILLFUL IP infringement? Nooooooooo… Say it ain’t SO! Fckin’ pathetic. Eric Schit is worse than FckFace. Why even file IP patents? iHope Oracle teams up with Apple. DAM! iF only Mr. Jobs wuz here to witness this SCHITSHOW.

  3. Look at what they do not what they say.

    Take Trump as a prime example. He has said some of the dumbest stuff ever. But when you look at his policies he is not that bad. He is his worse enemy. If he would have put the phone down.

    criminal reform
    investment zones
    lower capital gains so companies can repatriate foreign capital
    military spending and cost cutting (forced partner nations to share in cost of our overseas deployment)
    federal judges (support Constitution, even side against him)
    energy independence (via Deregulation) makes liberal mad but consider CCP has no regulations.
    trade agreement with Canada and Mexico
    Support Taiwan
    Mid East peace
    slowly bringing troops home,
    no new wars

      1. that was funny 🙂 you got me !!! Im guilty for ADD.

        “There’s something really fishy about her.”

        so I replied

        “Look at what they do not what they say.”

        Then I thought about trump and all the crazy stuff he has said… I guess it rolled down hill from there. But your reply was funniest thing all day.

      1. “All of Trumps wounds as president are self inflicted’

        I agree, and still in terms of actual policy Trump is better then the alternative. The winner will be China, we know Biden will return to business as usual. Every president since Nixon both republican and Democrats sold us out to the CCP. Including Reagan, Bush, Carter, Clinton and Obama.

        Time will tell, but with team blue in charge of president, house and senate change will happen fast. Smart money will move to safety.

    1. criminal reform – Trump appointed a lot of the criminals

      lower capital gains so companies can repatriate foreign capital – the repatriation tax reduction was a one-time event in an attempt to get a free economic bump. The reduction in corporate tax rates went too far and resulted in a massively expanded deficit (this occurred pre-Covid, so hold those excuses)

      military spending and cost cutting (forced partner nations to share in cost of our overseas deployment) – increases in NATO partner spending was already planned. Trump’s behavior weakened NATO.

      federal judges (support Constitution, even side against him) – roughly half of the ~300 federal judges appointed under Trump should have been appointed under Obama. But McConnell stonewalled for years. McConnell also stonewalled the Garland nomination for SCOTUS. You can glory in those accomplishments if you want, but I don’t want to hear your hypocritical whining when your own corrupt and dirty play is used against you in the future. Just suck it up and take it.

      energy independence (via Deregulation) makes liberal mad but consider CCP has no regulations. – the fracking boom occurred under Obama. Energy independence occurred under Obama. Trump claims credit for many things, but the documented truth begs to differ. Trump is a self- promoting con man, and alway has been.

      trade agreement with Canada and Mexico – We already had one and it was called NAFTA. Trump threatened ouR neighbors and got a few things changed just so he could change the name and claim victory, but it is still predominantly NAFTA. And Trump’s decision to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ceded economic leadership in the Pacific to China. Trump didn’t beat China as much as surrender U.S. economic influence and leadership. Idiot.

      Support Taiwan – how is that going for Taiwan lately?

      Mid East peace – if you ignore all of the areas in the Mideast that are warring…sure

      slowly bringing troops home – he made much bigger promises than that, but you are easily satisfied

      no new wars – that is a very low bar. Obama didn’t start any wars, either. Neither did Clinton. In fact, it has been Republican Presidents who have started the wars in recent history. Bush started two.

      Please respond with a defense of Trump. I seriously need a laugh. The fly on Pence’s head was good, but not sufficient.

  4. I have no opinion on the Google/Android matter in the courts but the comment “Apple won the war by relegating Android to undesirable, low- or no-profit demographics.” is downright condescending, arrogant, elitest and despicable.

    P.S. Full disclosure…we are users of both iOS and Android (and Macs and Windows computers too)…we just use whatever meets a particular need.

    1. But true, Google has done more damage than any American company by giving Asian companies a modern mobile smartphone OS gift wrapped and the Geeks and the free loving public don’t care cause they are getting FREE…. and party has nothing to do with it. Google and Facebook are parasites.

      1. I have zero loyalty to Google, but who then would have created an OS that wasn’t bound to any one OEM? Symbian? MS? Palm?

        I support the one that gives me the most manufacturer options and models.

          1. Of course the “Asian companies” would be in the game. They didn’t need Google’s help to dominate the market for televisions, cameras, cars, radios, etc. If Google didn’t provide the OS, someone else would have. That Google gave it away just showed Google’s brilliant long-game strategy. That they likely stole both the concept (from Apple) and the code is a whole ‘nother matter.

  5. So let me get this straight: If the House goes after Google, Facebook and Amazon for clearly abusing their near-monopoly positions, that’s great news. But if the same officials go after Apple for their App Store rules, that’s proof that the Democrats must hate big tech.

    So, which is it? You can’t have it both ways. (By the way, the GOP members of the House committee voted against going after Google, Facebook and Amazon. Where’s the hate for them?)

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