It’s been a couple weeks since we last brought you news of a lawsuit between some smartphone heavyweights, so clearly we’re long overdue. This time, we’re returning to a case that initially seemed like it was all wrapped-up, but the appeals process now threatens to turn things on their head, with the chance that Google could suddenly find itself on the hook for a lot of money owed to Oracle.
Back last May, we got the verdict in the Oracle vs. Google suit, where Oracle went after Google for copyright infringement over its implementation of the Java APIs. After losing its patent claims, Oracle was also denied compensation over the APIs, as the judge ruled that they couldn’t be copyrighted in the first place.
On appeal, however, the court is turning out to be much more sympathetic towards Oracle, reconsidering that issue of copyright. While nothing’s been ruled yet, some comments made by the three-judge panel are coming off as highly critical of Google’s actions, whereby it re-wrote some 15 million lines of code in order to duplicate the functionality of Oracle’s API.
If the court rules in Oracle’s favor, Google could end up having to pay over a billion dollars.