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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Google Won’t Pay Oracle

Finally, Oracle has lost its big Java case against the search giant with Google being ordered to pay the company nothing for their efforts. Press reports confirm that Google was told that it has 2 weeks to file an application for Oracle to cover its legal fees in the case.

Of course, Oracle wasn’t happy with the decision and was going to appeal. However, to be fair to Google, the expected court ruling was obvious because Judge William Alsup revealed he used to be a programmer. The first time in the world the judge knew more about programming than the lawyers representing the parties, so each time they tried to spin something, the judge knew it wasn’t true. Moreover, he realized what impact some of his decisions would have on the programming world.

The entire case was built on the fact that Android used a variant of the Java programming language. At the time Java’s copyrights belonged to Sun, but later Larry Ellison purchased the company. His aim was to gain access to Java’s patents, because it’s one of the most popular programming languages in the world.

So, Oracle believed it could make a claim against Android based on a similarity of APIs between Java and Android. However, the judge knew that APIs are one of the most commonly replicated pieces of software, and if they were patented then all companies engaged in writing software would have to pay a fortune of licensing fees to the original makers.

The judge knew that people would have to pay even if they did their operations in absolutely different ways. To make it clear to everyone, one could compare it to claiming that a full stop should be patented and everyone using the one would have to pay up.

Oracle originally claimed $6.1 billion in penalties from the search giant, but was later forced to lower that demand to only $226 million. In response, Google offered the company $28 million to silence, but Oracle rejected the offer. As a result, the Judge lowered that amount to $150,000 and then to nothing, with Oracle potentially having to pay Google instead.

Anyway, it was a very silly case, and the fact that neither party could really baffle the judge with jargon made it even sillier. There were moments during the trial when the Oracle representatives tried to convince the judge that a piece of code was vital and original, but after the judge took a look at it, he said that no, it wasn't

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