After closing arguments wrapped up in the Google vs. Oracle case on Monday, the jury has come to a decision over the use of Java code in Android. Announced moments ago, the jury sided unanimously in Google’s favor.

Specifically, the jurors found that Google’s use of declaring code, and the structure, sequence, and organization of Java APIs was fair use. A previous case in 2014 established that APIs are copyrightable. However, current copyright law does not apply to functional uses of code, like re-implementing.

Google made the argument that its use of a small portion of code was necessary to effectively use the open-source Java language. Oracle argued that a license was needed and that Android’s success made it impossible to license the code for use in other mobile operating systems.

At the onset of the trail, Oracle claimed that Google’s use of Java code entitled them to an $8.8 billion slice of the Android business and $475 million in lost potential licensing revenue. The figure was calculated based on $21 billion in profit from more than 3 billion Android activations. The trail lasted two weeks and followed a six-year fight between the two companies. 

In a statement, Google said today’s verdict “represents a win for the Android ecosystem.” Meanwhile, Oracle already plans to appeal and bring the case to the Federal Circuit.


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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: