High-Stakes Jury Trail: Oracle VS. Google

Database creator Oracle is set to go to trial against Google for breaching its intellectual property rights by copying from its Java programming language when creating the Android operating system.

The focus of the trial falls on the programming language Java, which was created originally by Sun Microsystems, a company that Oracle acquired in 2010 for $7.4 billion. Oracle is demanding $1 billion in damages along with an order for Google to cease any Android software that has made use of its code. The company argues that Google is violating its copyrights and patents, by creating the code without first seeking a license. To this Google responds by saying that “computer programming languages are not copyrightable and Google has never taken any other position.”

The verdict is greatly important for Google because if Oracle gets its way, it will mean dealing with 150 million plus customers who are presently using the Android software. The case also has a wider effects, potentially affecting the future of the developers who use Java.

Oracle’s chances of winning the case are unknown, but what we do know is that when the company filed a lawsuit almost two years ago, five of its seven patents had been invalidated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, with the sixth one expiring at the end of the year.

The trial will take place in San Francisco and will last eight weeks, beginning with jury selection on Monday, April 16th. The case’s outcome will be highly important not only the companies involved, but for future developers as well.


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