Oracle sues Google for $1bn over Android OS

Oracle sues Google for $1bn over claimed copyright infringement in the Java programming of the Android mobile operating system (OS)

Oracle is suing Google for $1bn damages for allegedly infringing its copyright in the Java programming of the Android mobile operating system (OS).

Oracle acquired the rights to Java when it acquired Sun Microsystems $7.4 billion in 2010.

If successful, Oracle would be able to seek an injunction blocking US sales of Android OS handsets unless Google pays for a licence to use Java, according to the Financial Times.

But Oracle would also likely be required to offer Google a licence to its technology at rates that analysts say should not cripple Android’s competitiveness.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in San Francisco for the trial. The trial is expected to last two months and feature testimony from the companies’ chief executive officers, Larry Ellison and Larry Page, as well as damage experts, according to Bloomberg News.

Oracle alleges Google’s management made the decision to intentionally infringe Oracle’s Java-related intellectual property in the Android OS.

Google denies infringing Oracle’s patents, saying the Oracle-owned technology it is accused of taking, called application programming interfaces (APIs) is not covered by copyright.

“Computer programming languages are not copyrightable, and neither are Oracle’s APIs,” Google attorney Robert Van Nest said in a court filing.

The trial comes after settlement talks in April and September last year failed to resolve dispute.

In its original lawsuit filed in 2010, Oracle claimed Google's Android OS infringed seven Java patents, but Google won a ruling in 2011 throwing out five of the claims and Oracle’s $6.1bn damage estimate.

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