Oracle Appeals Judge's Ruling In Copyright Lawsuit Against Google

Oracle has filed an appeal of last June's ruling by a U.S. District Court judge that Google's use of Java application programming interfaces did not infringe Oracle's Java copyrights, according to a Thomson Reuters story.

The appeal, filed Monday with the federal U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, maintains that U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup in San Francisco erred when he ruled that Google's use of Java in Android did not violate Oracle's patents. Alsup's decision said Oracle could not claim copyright protection on much of the Java programming language used by Google.

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The appeals brief called Google's use of Java "decidedly unfair," the Reuters story said. "Copyright protects a short poem or even a Chinese menu or jingle. But the copied works here were vastly more original, creative and labor-intensive," Oracle said.

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A Google spokesperson declined to comment on Oracle's appeal. Google has maintained throughout the case that its actions did not violate Oracle patents and that Oracle could not claim copyright protection for the 37 Java APIs in dispute.

Oracle sued Google in 2010, claiming that the use of Java in Android violated several Java patents, as well as copyrighted material related to the Java platform. Oracle acquired Java when it bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010. Oracle sought damages up to $1 billion in the case.

Alsup's ruling last year followed a month-long trial and a jury verdict that Google's actions did not violate Oracle's Java patents. The same jury delivered a mixed verdict on the copyright charges, finding that Google had infringed some Java copyrights, but deadlocking on the key question of whether Google's actions constituted "fair use."

Oracle's appeal seeks to overturn Alsup's ruling, as well as the jury verdict on fair use.

A Washington, D.C.-based Federal Circuit Court will hear Oracle's appeal, according to the Reuters story, even though such copyright cases in California would normally be heard in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That's because Oracle's original suit included patent claims, putting the case under the Federal Circuit Court's jurisdiction. The Reuters story said Oracle's appeal did not raise any issues about its Java patent claims.