Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Appeals Court Rules Google Infringed Java Copyright in Android

Case Filed: Oct 19, 2012

Case Closed: May 09, 2014

Origin Case: 3:10-cv-03561

Case Summary:
The database software company, Oracle filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google in August 2010 over the use of Java in Google’s Android mobile operating system (OS). The complaint also claimed copyright infringement asserting Google’s Android infringes Oracle America’s copyrights in Java. The suit was filed in the District Court of California.

The U.S patents involved in the suit are:
Patent Number
Current Assignee[i]
Issue Date
Expiration Date[ii]
Method and apparatus for pre-processing and packaging class files
Oct 12, 1999
Oct 31, 2017
Method and system for performing static initialization
May 09, 2000
Apr 07, 2018
Protection domains to provide security in a computer system
Sep 26, 2000
Dec 11, 2017
Controlling access to a resource
Feb 20, 2001
Dec 11, 2017
Interpreting functions utilizing a hybrid of virtual and native machine instructions
Jun 21, 2005
Jul 12, 2022
System and method for dynamic preloading of classes through memory space cloning of a master runtime system process
Sep 16, 2008
Dec 22, 2023
Method and apparatus for resolving data references in generated code
Apr 29, 2003
Dec 22, 2012
Assignee information sourced from MaxVal’s Assignment Database.
As in complaint:
According to the complaint, one of the most important technologies Oracle acquired with Sun was the Java platform.

The Android OS software “stack” consists of Java applications running on a Java-based object-oriented application framework and core libraries running on a “Dalvik” virtual machine (VM) that features just-in-time (JIT) compilation. Android and devices that operate Android infringed one or more claims of the patents-in-suit.

Oracle sought permanent enjoinment of continued acts of infringement of the patents and copyrights at issue in this litigation.

District Court:
The jury found no patent infringement and as to copyright infringement, jury found that Google infringed Oracle’s copyrights in the 37 Java packages and a specific computer routine called “rangeCheck,” but returned a non-infringement verdict as to eight decompiled security files. The jury deadlocked on Google’s fair use defense.

Shortly after the verdict, the district court issued its decision on copyrightability, finding that the replicated elements of the 37 API packages—including the declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization—were not subject to copyright protection. Accordingly, the district court entered final judgment in favor of Google on Oracle’s copyright infringement claims, except with respect to the rangeCheck code and the eight decompiled files.

Appeal Court:
Oracle appealed from the portion of the final judgment entered against it, and Google cross-appealed the portion of that same judgment entered in favor of Oracle as to the rangeCheck code and eight decompiled files.

Appeal court reversed the district court’s copyrightability determination with instructions to reinstate the jury’s infringement finding as to the 37 Java packages and remanded for further consideration of Google’s fair use defense.

See 2013-1021 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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[i] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.
[ii] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.

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