It is with unsurprising speed that all the usual suspects have been popping out of their corners to condemn Oracle, praise Google, and announce the end of the world as we know it. However, let's pause a moment to examine the decision in the ongoing smartphone IP dispute that has been handed down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. For it seems, as usual, that not many people are actually reading the decision itself. And few even know what the decision is about, from the very start.
Let's begin by pointing out that Google has been defending itself with the argument that any material it has appropriated was not protected under copyright law. Google hasn't denied that it has used Java API material. It has merely disputed that there was anything unlawful about it. The Federal Circuit has now overruled the earlier decision that was in favor of Google. Interestingly, Google may come to be surprisingly pleased about this decision in the long run since Google is going to have to contradict its own positions on API copyrightability if (and probably when) Samsung decides to do to Android what Google did (and continues to be doing) to Java.
After all, bear in mind that Samsung has been reducing its reliance on Google's Android operating system after Google acquired handset maker Motorola Mobility Holdings. Consider the scenario where Samsung may determine that its own Tizen platform meets its strategic needs better than Android. For example, Samsung may want more freedom to partner with other providers or gradually promote its own offerings. This would lead to a potentially irreconcilable conflict between the Google and Samsung, at which point Google will be very happy with the Federal Circuit's decision in regards to its dispute with Oracle.
by Walter Nyland