Oracle gets sillier over Android case

ANDROIDOracle, which is fast becoming famous for its litigation, is claiming in court that Java was dying because Android’s programmers used similar APIs.

Oracle filed its original lawsuit in 2010, accusing Google of copying some of the basic Java programming APIs into Android. Since then, Google has released six major versions of the OS and the software has “come to permeate the fabric of our society,” Oracle said in a letter filed Wednesday in San Francisco district court.

“It is in 80 percent of smartphones, in tablets, in televisions, on wearables, and even in cars,” Oracle’s lawyers wrote. “Android now has a billion users; Google reaps untold profits from these users through a variety of means.”

At the same time, Oracle says, its Java platform “has suffered more than ever.”

Yep, Oracle is saying that Android is so successful because Google programmers used similar APIs to Java and killed it off. APIs are reminder messages placed in the code so that programmers can find their way.

Oracle has asked the court for permission to supplement its original complaint to reflect Android’s success and the financial gains Google has made from the OS, particularly in search advertising.

It claims that these new facts could strengthen Oracle’s case against Google’s fair use defence, Oracle says, particularly a factor in that defence that considers the impact of a defendant’s actions on the value of the copyrighted work.

“Androids utter domination of the smartphone market, adoption of an anti-fragmentation strategy, and entry into other actual and potential Java-platform markets all bear directly on this factor and others,” it says.

A jury in San Francisco decided two years ago that Google infringed Oracle’s copyright but was split on the question of fair use.

The judge in that case, William Alsup, who is a programmer, decided that Oracle’s Java programming interfaces weren’t eligible for copyright protection making the jury’s verdict irrelevant.

Oracle appealed, however, and the appeals court agreed with it that the Java APIs ertr creative works worthy of protection. Google tried to take the case to the Supreme Court, but last month it refused to hear the case.

That means, barring a settlement, the companies will head back to Alsup’s court where a new jury will decide the question of fair use. And Oracle, apparently, thinks it has a stronger case than it had the first time around, because Android has done so well.