NEWS ANALYSIS: Google and Oracle are waging a bruising courtroom battle over the search company's use of Java in Android. Everyone should keep a close eye on the proceedings because a decision in Oracle's favor could at least end up costing Google well over $1 billion or even affect the prices and availability of Android mobile products.
and Oracle are currently in court battling over whether Google violated Oracle's
copyrights (no, not patents) when it used Java application programming
interfaces (APIs) as part of its Android app development processor. If Google
wins the case, Android will get off free, and the company won't be forced to
pay the massive $1 billion or more in damages Oracle is hoping to be awarded in
the event it wins the case.
trial has been a long time coming. Back in 2010, after acquiring Java along
with its buyout of Sun Microsystems, Oracle
sued Google over its use of the platform
. Since then, the companies have
tried on numerous occasions to strike a deal, but the amount Google has been
willing to pay to make the case go away has not satisfied Oracle. Now, a court
will decide which side should win out.
talk of Google and Oracle has been going on for quite some time, many consumers
have ignored the developments, reasoning that it won't impact them. But that
couldn't be further from the truth. Everyone should keep a close eye on Google's
Oracle lawsuit and realize that it could have a major impact on Android phone
makers and Android device users.
on to find out why you should keep a close eye on Google's Oracle lawsuit:
1. Big money could change hands
either Google or Oracle will be doling out a significant amount of cash
when this case is finally decided. As noted, Oracle would like to make as much
as $1 billion in this case, while Google will likely walk away with attorneys'
fees and, perhaps, some damages in the event it wins. Either way, expect big
money to change hands, and depending on which way it goes, for the companies'
stock prices to be affected.
2. It's Google chance to defend itself
has been getting hit from all angles in the mobile space as of late. Companies
argue that the Android operating system violates a host of patents (or in
Oracle's case, copyrights), and Google has so far not made it clear why it
believes it's innocent. This case is the company's chance to do just that.
3. Android is under fire
that, it's not clear what an Oracle
win might do to Android cases
going on elsewhere around the world. Much of
the legal system across the world is based in the subjective interpretation of
highly sophisticated user agreements and contracts. If Google is found guilty
in this case, it might negatively impact ongoing Android cases currently being
battled in courts around the world. Each nation has its own copyright and
patent laws and their own way of interpreting them.
4. It could impact future lawsuits
this same time, there's no telling how this case might impact future lawsuits.
Will Oracle find other areas in which it believes Google might be illegally using
its software? Will Microsoft try to find other areas in which Android, and thus
Google, is violating some of its own patents? A Google victory could stymie
other legal efforts to curtail Google's immense market power. A Google loss
could do quite the opposite.