Google has appealed to the Supreme Court to review the long-running legal trial with Oracle, where the latter is suing Google for copying Oracle’s Java language to create the Android operating system.
The case dates back to 2010 when Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems, the creator of Java. After the acquisition, the new owners of the language sued Google for $8.8 billion for the use of Java in Android and another $475 million for losing potential licensing revenue.
Back then Google had argued that the APIs are too fundamental to programming to be copyrighted and that Oracle is “trying to profit by changing the rules of software development after the fact.”
So the court initially ruled that the software interfaces, in this case, are not copyrightable. But that decision was soon overturned to Oracle’s benefit in another trial.
As per the current decision of the court, Google could potentially lose billions of dollars. This is why the search giant has turned to the Supreme Court to make a final call and define the boundaries of copyright law in code.
Google stated in a blog post that the case is not only crucial to copyright law but has “practical importance” as it touches the two cornerstones of computing: Google’s Android and Oracle’s Java.
And this could change the future of software and have a “far-reaching impact on innovation across the computer industry” if the last year’s ruling isn’t reversed.
Meanwhile, Oracle says in its response Google’s latest petition is “a rehash of arguments” that have already been discredited.
“The fabricated concern about innovation hides Google’s true concern: that it be allowed the unfettered ability to copy the original and valuable work of others for substantial financial gain,” said Dorian Daley, Oracle’s Executive Vice President.