Google and Oracle’s 10-year lawsuit will have a profound impact on the software industry

Thursday, October 8, 2020 , 8:30 GMT

The 10-year-old complaint by Google and Oracle over Android app concerns will be finalized by the US Supreme Court.

The use of Oracle technology by Google in its Android smartphone operating system was the subject of this decade-long legal battle, with Oracle saying it deserved damages of as much as $9 billion.

10 years of publicity from the arbitration sector

Originally, Java was written by Sun Microsystems. In early 2010, Oracle acquired the company for US$ 7.4 billion and immediately filed a lawsuit seeking US$ 9 billion in August of the same year.

Google chose to be compliant with Java when it first developed the Android smartphone operating system. To do this, some Java APIs were refactored by the firm, including 37 embroiled in legal disputes. That year, Google and Sun signed a provisional deal, but due to the latter ‘s control specifications for the Android app, the deal was breached.

Regarding Oracle, which takes over Java from Sun, the two key points of contention are whether it is entitled to take a share of Android, and whether Google’s language compatibility implies infringement.

The litigation arguments of the two firms have also modified over the 10-year litigation battle.

When Google replied in 2010, it included 7 major patents and 1 major copyright claim. But by 2012, the point of contention had been narrowed to 37 Java APIs consisting of just around 11,500 lines of code. In comparison, each big Android version ‘s overall code size is between 12 and 14 billion lines.

The final decision would have a deep effect on the computing industry.

In the software industry, APIs are popular, making competing software applications interoperable, helping consumers minimize transition costs, and lowering the entry barrier for start-up software: if a new app is consistent with software products that customers already know and use, it’s much easier to market.

Analysis claims that if Oracle wins the case, it will bring massive uncertainty to the tech industry. When creating Java-compatible applications, treating the Java API as a copyrightable property would grant Oracle tremendous leverage and market influence, and obstruct the production capability of new entrants.

The US government has backed Oracle’s lawsuit against Google. In order to protect “creative” apps, US Deputy Attorney General Malcolm Stewart said on Wednesday that copyright protection is required.

In the discussion on Wednesday, some justices expressed opposition to Google’s views. Chief Justice John Roberts claimed that “the way Google gets it is to receive a license,” if Oracle is the only way to join.

But the Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States still needed to know what effect Oracle would have on the technology world if it wins. Currently, many modern apps created by developers need to use the APIs of other people to make their products work properly.

The definitive judgment will not be made within a brief amount of time. In March this year, the justices were expected to hear the case, but the hearing was postponed due to the outbreak of the latest Crown epidemic. A decision is expected to be issued by the Supreme Court before June 2021.