Google Involved in Lawsuit with $9.3 Billion Copyright Infringement

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Oracle, the company responsible for Java, is suing Google for as much as $9.3 billion for damages for Google’s use of Java in the Android operating system.

Oracle, which sued Google six years ago, believes Google needs licenses to use some of the Java platform parts in Android. Court filings showed that Oracle was filing a copyright lawsuit against Google.

The case which went to trial back in 2012 is still raging on after the jury could not decide on one important question. Their decision was split on whether the search giant’s use of Java, was under the ‘fair use’ category which would permit them to copy the product but under limited circumstances.

A new trial was arranged in a federal district court in San Francisco and is due to begin on May 9. Star witnesses are also expected to take the stand, just as it was last time, with Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Google’s Eric Schmidt poised to take the stands.

Oracle hired an expert to help them figure out how much of the damages they were supposed to sue for. The expert after analysis of the alleged infringement came to the number $9.3 billion. This is a significant ten times higher figure than the one Oracle was seeking when they went to trial last. Therefore, the possibility that the number will be reduced is there.

The increased figure was a reflection of Androids growth over the years past, and also a rise in the number of smartphones on the market particularly ones which used Android. The new trial covers six additional versions of Android, up to and including the Lollipop version.

Google on its part also hired a damages expert. The report from Google about the damages they should pay is not available yet, but it surely won’t be as high as $9.3 billion. A filing by Oracle last week suggested Google capped, at least, part of the damages at $100 million.

The whole case is hinged on Google’s decision to use Java without getting a license from Sun. In the first trial, the jury found Google guilty of infringement of Oracle’s copyright by copying 37 Java application programming interfaces. However, the trial judge later ruled out that APIs were not eligible for protection under US copyright law.

Google denies any wrongdoing, saying that its use of Java is covered by fair use. The estimated figure by Oracle is comprised of two parts. $475 million for damages Oracle incurred and $8.8 billion profit made by Google.

The two companies are due in court on April 27 for a pretrial hearing.