A jury found that Google’s use of the Java programming language in Android is legal, in a patent battle that lasted some six years. Oracle, which owns Java, argued that Google stole code to build a mobile operating system that ended up being the most popular smartphone OS in the world. Google prevailed over Oracle in 2012, but a year later a court found that software APIs can be copyrighted, which meant Oracle could revive its legal battle against Android.
Google didn’t just save Android with this win, avoiding a huge financial hit in the process – a win for Oracle could have forced Google to cough up as much as $9 billion. The victory is also important for future patent battles that cover copyrightable software. More →