There is a long-running legal battle between Oracle and Google over the use of Java, an Oracle product, in Android. In the latest court filing, Oracle is shooting for the moon: $US9.3 billion in copyright damages from Google.
The copyright fight dates back six years, when Oracle first filed suit against Google, for both copyright and patent infringement relating to its use of Java in Android. Oracle lost the first round, but a US federal appeals court sent the case back for a second trial on the copyright issues.
The case is important for a few reasons, most obviously that $US9.3 billion would put a serious hole in the $US16 billion-per-year operating income of Google’s parent company. But it’s also a landmark case over whether or not APIs, the structural blocks that help applications talk to each other, are copyrightable.
The trial is set to begin on May 9, although regardless of which way the jury goes, Oracle is unlikely to ever see $US9.3 billion in damages. In the first trial, Oracle’s first two damage estimates were thrown out, and the judge isn’t likely to be any more sympathetic this time around.