A federal appeals court on Tuesday revived Oracle Corp.'s (NYSE: ORCL) multibillion-dollar copyright infringement claims against Alphabet Inc.’s Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), and said that Google’s use of Oracle’s Java programming technology was “unfair”.
The case which can date back to 2010, involves how much copyright protection should extend to the Java programming language used by Google to develop the Android system, which is the widest used smart phone system in the world. Oracle had previously sought $9 billions in damages.
The case has been subject to two trials. In the last one, jurors ruled Google’s use of the Java code was permitted as “fair use” under federal copyright law in 2016.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Tuesday overturned that holding. “We conclude that Google’s use of the Java API packages was not fair as a matter of law,” the court wrote in a 56-page opinion.
It sent the case back for a trial on how much damages Google should pay for infringement.