US: Appeals court revamps Oracle/Android IP fight

Computer technology conglomerate Oracle has taken a major step forward in its efforts to sue Google for about $1 billion over allegations of patent infringement, according to reports.

An appellate court issued a victory to Oracle last Friday when it reversed an earlier ruling that said Oracle could not copyright aspects of the Java programming language, reports say; that Java script is the grounds for an intellectual property dispute between Oracle and Google. Oracle claims Google illegally incorporated parts of that Java language to develop its popular Android smartphone operating system.

Reports say Android remains the world’s best-selling smartphone platform. Oracle had originally sued Google in 2010, but a federal judge found that Oracle could not claim copyright protection over the Java language.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington disagreed, however. In the three-judge panel’s decision, Federal Circuit Judge Kathleen O’Malley explained that the judges “conclude that a set of commands to instruct a computer to carry out desired operations may contain expression that is eligible for copyright protection.”

The case has increased in profile since its 2010 filing, reports say, not only because of testimony given in 2012 by high-level executives from Google and Oracle, but also because the panel has now ordered a new look at whether Oracle can obtain damages or whether Google’s use of the technology was protected under fair use, according to reports.

Full content: Reuters

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