Oracle Looking to Expand
its Lawsuit Against Google

IP News and Information

Big companies are no strangers to lawsuits, including disputes over intellectual property. In fact, many of the largest companies in the world are continually involved in lawsuits either over protecting their IP rights or because other companies claim IP infringement. Google, the tech company and search engine giant, has been involved in several IP lawsuits recently, on both sides of the equation, many of which we have previously discussed here at IPTrader.

Big Victory for Oracle

In fact, last month, we discussed the ongoing court battle between Google and Oracle regarding Oracle’s ability to copyright some of it’s application programming interfaces (APIs). The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where the top court decided not to hear it. That was a big blow to Google because it meant that the case reverted back to the previous court’s decision, which was to allow Oracle to pursue the lawsuit. Many experts in the computer programming industry expressed concern with the Court’s decision not to hear the case because it gives Oracle broad leverage to collect royalty fees from any company that uses its APIs for Java, which were previously open source. Now there may be more bad news for all anyone in the computer programming industry, because according to reports, Oracle is trying to expand its lawsuit against Google.

Oracle Wants More

Oracle recently asked a judge to grant it permission to include the Android operating system in its lawsuit. This is the first move by the company since the Supreme Court allowed the previous decision to stand. Because the court didn’t alter the decision that now means Oracle can pursue more litigation. Therefore, the lawsuit could have a lot of life left, as this new request indicates. Oracle originally filed a claim against Google five years ago and is reportedly seeking about $1 billion in damages for copyright infringement. The reason the company has asked to expand the suit is that it claims every time Google updates the Android operating system in both new and existing markets it continues to infringe Oracle’s property.

Impact Could Huge for Google

Google has not commented on this latest move by Oracle, but the company’s Android operating system is the largest-selling smartphone OS platform in the world, which means it could have huge implications if the court agrees with Oracle. Google has claimed all along that it does not disagree that Oracle can copyright it’s APIs but it also claims that it has only used small parts of the Java interfaces and that those have previously been open source, which means they have been available for anyone to use. If Oracle is successful in it’s lawsuit, the damages could be significant to Google. Not only could the court order it to pay Oracle a hefty damage reward, but it could also be forced to pay future licensing fees for continued use of the copyrighted APIs. That could be a significant payment as well. Stay tuned, as this case is sure to have many more twists and turns to come.