Judge Strikes Part of Oracle's Java Lawsuit Against Google

A federal judge threw out a small part of Oracle's Java lawsuit against Google on Thursday but allowed the bulk of the case to proceed.

Oracle sued Google last year, arguing that Google had violated its Java intellectual property by writing its own version of the Java virtual machine, called Dalvik. Google had asked that the case be thrown out of court, based on a number of arguments. In Thursday's ruling, the judge rejected the bulk of Google's arguments but did agree to throw out one of Oracle's claims in the case.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup agreed with Google that the company had not violated Oracle's copyright by using Java method, class, API and package names that Oracle said were copyright-protected. "Because names and other short phrases are not subject to copyright, the names of the various items appearing in the disputed API package specifications are not protected," Alsup wrote in his order.

Google declined to comment on the ruling. Oracle representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

The ruling is a minor victory for Google, but it also means that the bulk of Oracle's case will go forward. The trial is set to start Oct. 31.

Oracle picked up the Java patents and copyrights via its 2009 acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Robert McMillan covers computer security and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Robert on Twitter at @bobmcmillan. Robert's e-mail address is robert_mcmillan@idg.com

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