The saga of Oracle vs Google appears to be over. The judge in the long-running trial to determine the validity of Oracle’s copyright and patent claims on the Android platform has declared that APIs cannot be copyrighted, effectively clearing Google of all wrongdoing. The honorable Judge William Alsup declared that anyone can write code to carry out functions identical to APIs. The story isn’t quite over (Oracle could appeal the decision), but it might as well be.

The judge appears to be as tired of the rampant patent litigation in the past few years as we are. Alsup notes that “we should not yield to the temptation to find copyrightability merely to reward an investment made in a body of intellectual property.” Claims on short names and nine lines of code were dismissed on other grounds. With the jury deciding that Google didn’t infringe on Oracle’s (formerly Sun’s) patents, the case is pretty much dead in the water, and it’s extremely unlikely that Google will have to pay any sort of remuneration.

Hopefully this will set a precedent. With hundreds of thousands possibly lost in legal fees for a null gain, Oracle’s patent trolling has been costly and time-consuming for all involved. (Alsup noted himself that Oracle’s case was overblown.) With wide doubt cast upon the validity of software patents in general and the wild litigation in the technology world in particular, let’s hope that we can put this ugly chapter in tech history behind us soon.

[via SlashGear]

  • Kaizen_2012

    What was the original amount of the lawsuit? Can’t remember, but wasn’t it in the billions?

    • Michael Crider

      I don’t think Oracle has ever been suing for a specific amount – this is about copyright and patent validity, not any sort of civil recompense. However, Oracle did claim over a billion dollars in potential revenue loss.

    • KyleRay

      Bazillions of Dollars…. like in as much as 8 Billion Dollars had been reported before trial. But their own Damage Expert took first report down from 6 Billion to 2.6 Billion, before Judge Alsop ridiculed him down further over 3 attempts at a Damages Report to 1.3 Billion Max. That’s with enhanced damages awarded if Oracle could prove willfulness.

      But all the Bazillions and Bazillions of Dollars were built on the assumption that’s what a reasonable jury might award Oracle….. if they were able to prove all Copyright and Patent Claims, before half the patents got tossed by the USPTO and Oracle’s Damages Expert unable to support even half the dollar value in claims!

  • cheetose4

    Oracle should be find for waisting the courts time and claiming a ridiculous amount of money for something so minor.

  • Paulus Net

    Honorable Judge William Alsup, thank you for saving the software industry. May God bless you and your family. Live long, you are a hero.

  • Sperrybird

    Thank the almighty for this judge who has a brain and uses common sense. I wish he could preside all those apple trolling cases too.

  • Sperrybird

    The judge should’ve also make Oracle pay for all legal bills and wasting taxpayers money on (what appears to be) a frivilous lawsuit.