Oracle wins in copyright ruling against Google

May 09, 2014

FORTUNE -- A U.S. appeals court has ruled in favor of Oracle (orcl) in its ongoing legal battle against Google (goog) over Java programming language copyright protection.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington decided that Oracle should be granted copyright protection over certain parts of Java, a popular programming system it acquired from Sun Microsystems.

The database-software maker argued that Google’s Android, which is the world's best-selling smartphone platform, “improperly incorporated parts of Java” in its phones, according to court documents. Oracle had originally requested $6.1 billion in damages, an estimate that was dismissed by a judge ahead of the trial back in 2011. It could still request more than $1 billion in damages.

Oracle said Google used Java coding without paying as it hurried to create the Android in a format familiar to its programmers, according to a court document from July 2013.

Oracle initially sued Google back in 2010, but a San Francisco federal judge ruled that Oracle could not claim protections on parts of Java.

Other software makers, including Microsoft Corp. (msft), supported Oracle's case in a brief written at the end of 2013.

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