The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled in favor for Oracle in its lawsuit against Google for infringing on code from Java for use in its Android operating system — something Google has maintained is fair use.
Reuters reports the case now goes back to district court in San Francisco to determine damages. Oracle had been looking for about $9.3 billion, claiming the number to be about $1 billion more than what Android had generated in profits.
The suit was lodged back in 2010, when Oracle, which had recently acquired the Java language, had accused Google of using tens of thousands of lines from Java wholesale in the kernel of Android. After years of procedural deadlock, a 10-member jury panel found in favor of Google in 2016.
With the current state of legal play, some programmers are concerned about having to pay royalties under this outcome as Java, as old as it is, still is the baseboard for a large number of applications. Matthew Sarboraria, a vice president and associate general counsel at Oracle, said that copyright protection will allow developers to innovate.
“The sky is not falling,” Sarboraria said. “The sky is firmly in place.”
Oracle Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Dorien Daley gave a statement to Digital Trends:
[…] the Federal Circuit’s opinion upholds fundamental principles of copyright law and makes clear that Google violated the law. This decision protects creators and consumers from the unlawful abuse of their rights.
A spokesperson for Google said:
We are disappointed the court reversed the jury finding that Java is open and free for everyone. This type of ruling will make apps and online services more expensive for users. We are considering our options.