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Oracle bashes Google in court for walling off Android

The case between Oracle and Google over Android's use of Java has resumed and a new trial is currently underway in US District Court.

It began in 2010, when Oracle first sued Google over how the company used 37 Java APIs in the development of its mobile operating system. Google originally won the case before an appeals court reversed the decision. The company appealed to the Supreme Court but which declined to hear the case and now both companies are back in the court where the lawsuit began six years ago.

However this time around, the trial is not about copyright violations but rather whether or not Google's use of Java is covered or not the fair use provision of copyright law. Oracle has decided to portray itself as an advocate of free and open source software while blaming Google for releasing Android as an OS that is not entirely open to the community.

The company's co-CEO, Safra Catz testified that Google not Oracle was responsible for walling of Android. He even made the argument that Oracle originally decided to purchase Java from Sun Microsystems in 2009 in order to ensure that the programming language continued to be available for fair and open use. In reality, Oracle had begun to build a great deal of its software using Java and it felt that Java might lose its momentum. Cruz confirmed this belief in court when he testified “We were concerned (Sun) wouldn't invest enough, and Java was critical for our product.”

To avoid losing Java or having it tarnished by a competitor, Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion. The company had high hopes for Java and planned on heavily investing to develop it further with Catz stating “We intended to invest in Java and bring the Java community together and come out with new versions of Java going forward.”

Google had already began to develop Android using Java by the time the purchase of Sun Microsystems was finalised in 2010. With the success of the mobile platform came a split between Java developers with some programmers making the switch to develop for Android which according to Oracle directly undermined the open nature of Java. Google responded to this idea with the accusation that the company only chose to sue it after the failure of it failed to develop its own smartphone.

Testimony in the case between Google and Oracle will continue this week and the closing arguments of both companies are expected to begin next week.

Image Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.