Oracle won a legal victory against Google on Friday as a U.S. appeals court decided Oracle could copyright parts of the Java programming language, which Google used to design its Android smartphone operating system. The case, decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, is being closely watched in Silicon Valley. A high-profile 2012 trial featured testimony from Oracle’s chief executive, Larry Ellison, and Google CEO Larry Page, and the legal issues go to the heart of how tech companies protect their most valuable intellectual property.
In the long-running battle between Oracle vs. Google over the inclusion of Java in the Android operating system, Oracle was awarded an important victory on Friday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington decided that Oracle should be granted copyright protection over certain parts of Java, the popular programming framework it acquired from Sun Microsystems in 2010, in the ongoing corporate copyright war. Oracle took Google to court in 2010 alleging that Google had flouted its copyright by including 37 application developer interfaces (APIs) of Java in Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system. In May 2012, a jury found that Google did not infringe Oracle’s patents, but also ruled that the structure of Java APIs used by the search turned mobile giant were not copyrightable.