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June 20, 2012

Oracle claims $0 in damages following Google lawsuit

Ellison's company wants to get outstanding issues out of the way before the appeal process starts

By Steve Evans

Oracle has agreed to accept $0 in damages from Google following their copyright infringement case over the use of Java in Android.

Last month’s judgment cleared Google of most of the copyright infringement charges, but it was found guilty of copying up to nine lines of code from Java for use in its Android operating system.

Oracle has decided to accept the settlement so all parties can move on to the appeal process with no issues outstanding, Oracle lawyers told the court.

Oracle originally alleged Google copied 37 different Java APIs, though the former’s defence is that the Java language can be used for free to build Android, which was also agreed by Sun.

Larry Ellison’s company had been seeking billions of dollars in damages, but the judge’s ruling, which stated APIs are not copyrightable under US law, meant they would have to settle for much less.

The case has been dragging on for years. James Gosling, who is regarded as the Father of Java for his work on the programming language while at Sun Microsystems, even weighed in.

"While I have differences with Oracle, in this case they are in the right. Google totally slimed Sun," he wrote on his blog. "We were all really disturbed, even Jonathan [Schwartz, former Sun CEO]: he just decided to put on a happy face and tried to turn lemons into lemonade, which annoyed a lot of folks at Sun."

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Gosling left Sun not long after it was taken over by Oracle for around $5.6bn.

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