Java judge scolds Oracle for Google fair-use ruling desperation

May 10, 2012
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Oracle has been spanked by the judge in the Android Java case for flip-flopping on its demands for a jury verdict, telling the firm he won't rule on whether Google overstepped "fair use" in its code. The ongoing lawsuit was thrown into confusion earlier this week, when the jury decided it could not settle on whether Google's use of certain lines of Java code in among Android counted as fair-use or not. Oracle's legal team subsequently pressured Judge William Alsup to make a "judgment as a matter of law" himself.

Alsup refused, however, arguing that Google's defense against Oracle's allegations was sufficient to avoid him making the decision himself, Wired reports. In fact, he took umbrage at Oracle's tactics, taking the company's lead counsel, Mike Jacobs, to task for asking for a non-jury ruling after having insisted prior to the case that it in fact be decided by a jury.

Jacobs admitted, at that point, that his position on that had changed. Oracle has targeted DalvikVM, Google's virtual machine created for Android, claiming the search giant pillaged Java code for it so as to avoid going down an official licensing route with Sun, which Oracle later acquired.

Still in question is whether APIs themselves can be copyrighted, something Oracle insists is the case but Google claims otherwise. As the judge has warned, though, a decision that fair-use covers APIs would overrule copyright.

Google has officially requested a mistrial though it has yet been ruled on. The case has entered its second section, which examines whether Google infringed on Oracle's patents with its Android work.


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