May 17, 2014 Category: Commercial Litigation
In a case that has dragged on for several years, Google has recently seemed to lose ground. An appeals judge has ruled against it in the latest round of this business litigation between Oracle and the search engine giant. While this lawsuit is not based in Michigan, the eventual outcome may affect technology users everywhere.
The original case was filed by Oracle over the use of an API, application programming interfaces, which Google admits using freely. These interfaces are used when tech companies are attempting to get two programs to communicate with each other. Oracle sued when thousands of lines of their proprietary code were incorporated by Google when they were developing their Android product. The complaint was not over the new product, but over the use of the code to make the conversion of one code language to the other easier.
The judge who ruled on the filing made the determination that the use of APIs was allowable and that the interface programs were not subject to copyright protection. If that were the case, many felt that copyrights would handicap the development of new technological advances. However, credit for the ruling in Oracle’s favor has been given to a new representative that the company retained for the appeals process. The appeals court judge has just ruled that Oracle can indeed claim the copyrights to this particular API.
Google is understandably dismayed with the appeals ruling. It could possibly be held liable for thousands of dollars or more if it were ordered to make royalty payments to Oracle as a result of this business litigation. This battle is most likely far from over, and many in the technology industry may be holding their collective breath to see how this is eventually resolved, as the final determination may have far-reaching implications in the future. Business owners in Michigan also have the right to fight for their companies and products whenever they believe that a competitor has attempted to take advantage of their hard work. There are knowledgeable resources available to furnish information that may prove useful when a company pursues its rights to protect and secure it’s property and products.
Source: Business Insider, “Google: This Oracle Lawsuit Could Damage The Whole Software Industry“, Julie Bort, May 9, 2014