As any techie might know by now, the Oracle people came down on Google on April 16 in court accusing the search engine giant of using 37 API’s in their Java software that Oracle says belongs to them. The copyright battle would have decimated Google to a degree in this area of its developmental software as it related directly to the Android mobile phone market.
That’s right, the trial was supposed to decide if Google had indeed illegally used Oracle’s APIs to develop the super popular and financially successful Android OS. As corporations, experts and of course stock holders were on the edge of their seats waiting to see what the court had to say. Today the court threw Oracle a bone but didn’t end the issue either. Basically what the court did was to say was that Google did indeed violate Oracle’s rights but the court didn’t allow the home run hitting issue of copyright violation to be decided. Had they done that, Google would have had to fork over $1 billion.
Like forking over $1 billion would have hurt Google?
The battle is covering many areas and it’s sort of like kicking up dust in a wheat field. These copyright issues and the various other goings on with the development of the Android has Google claiming that Oracle is just fishing for goodies from their success. The Android OS rules the playing field but if at any time Google had stolen intellectual property from Oracle they need to own up to it and compensate them. Just how deep this issue of ‘fair use’ goes is unknown because the courts didn’t cover it and left it for later consideration.
It’s going to be a long drawn out issue and only speculators can guess as to why. Are the courts worried stocks will suffer? Will profits fall? Will a new precedent be established? No lower court wants to tackle these issues. They want to cover their butts on the basics and kick it upstairs for the higher courts to handle. There’s too much money at stake here and when it comes to intellectual technology properties it’s a tip toe type of procedures as one out of place code could cause disaster and lots of embarrassment.
You can bet that the smartphone and tech world is going to keep close eyes on this story. The fact that it’s being drawn out as thin and as long as it can is an indicator that the players and the courts are looking to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘eye’. They don’t want to miss one issue whatsoever as it could lead to even further chaos. With the billions of dollars the smartphone industry generates this case is of great importance. Should things cascade for Google and other legal issues arise there’s no telling what the courts will suggest as a remedy. They might pull apart every Android leaving Google and their investors in a maelstrom.
Keep an eye on this case, it’s going to spell things out for smartphones.