Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Oracle apparently winning Android-Java appeal against Google -- API declaring code copyrightable

[BREAKING NEWS -- please check back soon for more detail in a follow-up post that will be based on the official recording of today's appellate hearing]

Two highly experienced litigation reporters who attended today's Oracle v. Google Android-Java copyright appeal hearing held by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit have independently of each other shared (via Twitter) their observations that last year's ruling by District Judge William Alsup will likely be reversed. Judge Alsup held that more than 7,000 lines of declaring Java API code were not protected by copyright. A reversal of this finding will result in a remand of the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. If the Federal Circuit also determines that Google's hijacking of Java was not fair use, there will be a complete liability finding in Oracle's favor and the district court's exclusive (and important) task will be to determine remedies. Otherwise (and according to Reuters' Dan Levine that's what it sounded like) there will have to be a retrial just to determine fair use.

For further detail on the parameters and implications of today's appellate hearing please see my Q&A (published on Black Friday).

I will listen to the recording of today's appellate hearing (not yet available at the time of original publication of this post) and do a very detailed post on it. But what Dan Levine (Reuters) and Scott K. Graham (The Recorder/ have already shared on Twitter is more than significant enough to be worth sharing immediately:

Oracle was represented today by Orrick Herrington Sutcliffe's Joshua Rosenkranz, an appellate lawyer who has already defeated Google's Motorola this year (on Apple's behalf) and is also on the winning track in the "Posner appeal" (another Apple-Moto case). This lawyer is becoming a hell of a nightmare for Google...

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