ORACLE BEATS GOOGLE. Oracle’s Big Victory “..ruling, if it stands, could have a broad impact on the software industry by limiting the “fair-use” defense in copyright cases.”

 By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading

 

A federal appeals court revived Oracle Corp.’s multibillion-dollar copyright infringement claims against Alphabet Inc.’s Google, in a ruling that could give fresh legal muscle to leading software makers but hamper upstarts developing new applications for computers and smartphones. 

The court ruled Tuesday that Google’s use of Oracle’s Java programming technology wasn’t “fair,” a reversal of fortune in a case that dates back to 2010, when Oracle alleged Google’s Android smartphone operating system infringed copyrights related to Oracle’s Java platform. Oracle has sought as much as $9 billion in damages previously. Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley said in an interview that “the value has gone up,” though the company hasn’t come up with an updated number.

The appeals court ruling, if it stands, could have a broad impact on the software industry by limiting the “fair-use” defense in copyright cases. That could make it more costly and technically complex for developers to use Java and other copyrighted software to create new products, legal and industry experts said.

“The Federal Circuit’s opinion upholds fundamental principles of copyright law and makes clear that Google violated the law,” Oracle general counsel Dorian Daley said in a statement. “This decision protects creators and consumers from the unlawful abuse of their rights.” Google has not said if it would challenge the ruling. It could ask the full appeals court to review the decision, which could open the door for the Supreme Court to take it up. “We are disappointed the court reversed the jury finding that Java is open and free for everyone,” a Google spokesperson said. “This type of ruling will make apps and online services more expensive for users. We are considering our options.

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The decision will have a “broad chilling effect” on software development for startups, said Pamela Samuelson, an intellectual-property law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. She expects a flood of new lawsuits over the unauthorized use of APIs, as well as raft of cease-and-desist letters from big tech firms seeking licensing fees to use their APIs. “This is the worst sign yet for companies that are trying to enter markets using other people’s APIs,” Ms. Samuelson said

Keep those stops tight
Todd “Bubba” Horwitz

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Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.