After 10 Long Years, Google Finally Wins The Lawsuit Over Android Codes

Must Read

How To Leverage On Cold Calling to Help You Win Big In 2021

Cold calling is an old-fashioned sales strategy that involves sales representatives reaching out to prospective customers who have not...

Are You A Gaming Geek: ‘Five Commandments’ Before You Buy Video Games Online !

Does your day start with joysticks instead of coffee mugs? Or as a kid your best friends were the...

Apple Inc. (AAPL) 5.5 Inch Screen iPhone 6 Could Be A Game Changer: Rumors Claims 5.7-Inch iPhone 6C

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) looks set to release iPhone 6 with a 4.7 inch screen in September this year. Mass production for...

Back in 2012, Oracle accused Google of infringing their copyright as the latter copied the structure, sequence, and organization of around 37 Java application programming interfaces aka APIs, into the Android operating system.

In response to Oracle’s claim, the Alphabet-owned search giant replied that an API functions quite similar to an alphabet or a grammar, and thus, they are fundamental elements required to create programs.

The fight went on for ten whole years. And now, at long last, on 5th April, the Supreme Court of United States aka SCOTUS has finally ruled that Google could legally use Oracle’s Java API code for building Android as APIs cannot be strictly copyrighted, and fair use must play its part.


The latest ruling by SCOUTS puts an end to Oracle’s decade-long continued efforts to monetize its failed Sun purchase by squeezing out $9 billion from Google’s use of Java APIs in Android.

The Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision, said that “Google’s copying of the API to reimplement a user interface, taking only what was needed to allow users to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, constituted a fair use of that material.”

Take note here that this latest verdict overturned an earlier federal ruling which found Google’s Java API usage was, in fact, infringed Oracle’s copyright. Now, however, Google is completely free to use the Java APIs in Android. And more importantly, it is a bigger win for the entire software development industry because companies can no longer claim a hard copyright claim over APIs in general.

A few years ago, a Northern California U.S District Court Judge William Alsup, who was also a programmer, ruled in Google’s favour as well. Alsup said that an API is merely a ‘long hierarchy of over six thousand commands’ to carry out pre-assigned functions. And for that very reason, it cannot receive copyright protection.

Thus, one can say Oracle had been fighting a lost battle from day one itself. Historically, almost no other company has ever argued in favour of APIs being copyrighted because there isn’t anything intrinsically creative about them. Uri Sarid, the CTO of MuleSoft, a software integration company, several years ago, righty said that APIs work similarly like an ATM machine. Slide in the card. Punch the pin codes. Select the menu and expect cash in return. So, how exactly this ‘function’ can be copyrighted?

It can’t be, and this is something even Microsoft, which is no dear old friend of Google, agrees with as well.


In its amicus curiae SCOTUS filing, Microsoft stated that programmers tend to rely on ‘sharing, modifying and enhancing’ a piece of previously developed code to build new products and create newer functionalities. Therefore, copyrighting APIs will lead to compromising the process of efficient software development.

All in all, now that the Google vs Oracle debacle has finally wrapped up, both developers and software companies breathe a sigh of relief! We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Happy Birthday Bill Gates: The Multiple Shades Of The Co-Founder of Microsoft

From “Tic-tac-toe” to “Microsoft”; the path to triumph he foresaw to become a successful entrepreneur transformed him to a...

In-Depth: Dprime

Will ‘TikTok By Microsoft’ Be A Winner?

For the last two years, TikTok has been in the public eye for all sorts of reasons. First, it was the exploded and unparalleled...

Facebook Subscription Model: Looking Beyond Ad Dollars?

Seldom do job listings create a stir this gripping. However, when the job listing in question is a stealth post from Twitter, with a...

Will The Online Food Delivery Market in India End Up Becoming A Two-Horse Race?

It's pretty much evident that the food delivery space in India is all set to get riled up soon enough as one of the...

More Articles Like This