Google wins 10-year US Supreme Court litigation with Oracle

The US Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Google’s use of approximately 11,500 lines of Oracle Java code for Android is fair use and does not violate copyright laws.

Alphabet (GOOGL, GOOG), parent company Google, rose 4.2% on Monday amid a US Supreme Court ruling in a 10-year case against Oracle (ORCL) in Google’s favor.

Back in 2010, Oracle sued the tech giant for stealing 11,500 lines of code taken directly from the source code of the Java programming language Oracle.

Google denied that it copied the computer program and only used Java helper code (application programming interface or API).

Most of the judges agreed that Google’s copying of the Java code as used was “fair use of that material” and did not infringe on copyright.

This Supreme Court ruling overturned a 2018 ruling by the Court of Appeal. Android is currently used in about 70% of smartphones in the world and Oracle has demanded compensation from Google in the amount of about $ 9 billion.

Commenting on the Supreme Court decision, Oracle officials said Google used its economic dominance to pursue a protracted legal battle.

Oracle accused the giant Google of increasing “barriers to entry and reducing opportunities for competition” by its monopoly power, “which is why regulators around the world and in the United States are looking into Google’s business practices.”

Google, in turn, argued that Oracle’s victory in court would disrupt the software industry, creating huge obstacles for developers and forcing them to either “reinvent the wheel every time” or pay licensing fees to the most dominant software companies for the right to do simple everyday tasks.

Oracle’s trial was one of Google’s major cases, but the company continues to face antitrust investigations and threats to change its business model and business rules in both the US and the EU. Read more in articles “EU authorities are preparing new laws against large technology companies in the United States”, “The US Antitrust Committee urged to reform the rules for technology giants”.

Nonetheless, Alphabet shares (in the chart below) continue to post strong gains, up 98.65% over the past 12 months, hitting another high on Monday.

Oracle shares also rose 3.3% on Monday despite the court ruling, continuing to rise 49% in the past 12 months and 14.6% since the beginning of 2021.

Oracle posted better-than-expected quarterly results last month, with Oracle shares up nearly 10% since Monday’s close of trading.

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