By Dan Levine
Feb 19 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is backing Oracle Corp's
bid to revive a billion-dollar copyright lawsuit over Google's
use of the Java programming language, according to court filings
Oracle's intellectual property battle against Google has
attracted intense interest from software developers, many of
whom believe the structure of a programming language should not
be subject to copyright protection.
Last year a San Francisco federal judge found that Oracle
could not claim copyright protection on much of the Java
language that Google used on its Android mobile platform. Oracle
Microsoft, the world's largest software firm, told the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Tuesday it would
support Oracle with a friend of the court brief. Microsoft hired
Gregory Garre, a former U.S. solicitor general who is now a
partner at Latham & Watkins, as its principal attorney, court
Representatives for Microsoft and Google declined to
comment, and an Oracle spokeswoman could not be reached for
comment. A copy of Microsoft's legal brief was not immediately
available on the Federal Circuit's docket.
Microsoft has been litigating against Google and its
Motorola Mobility unit in high-stakes patent cases around the
world. The Windows software developer claims that Google's
Android platform violates its intellectual property.
Android is the best-selling smartphone operating system
around the world.
Microsoft also tried to persuade federal regulators to bring
a broad antitrust case against Google. However, the Federal
Trade Commission concluded last month that Google had not
manipulated its Web search results to hurt rivals.
For its part, Google agreed to no longer request sales bans
when suing companies which infringe on patents that are
essential to the interoperability of tech products.
The Oracle versus Google case examines whether computer
language that connects programs and operating systems - known as
application programming interfaces, or APIs - can be
Google argued it did not violate Oracle's patents and that
Oracle cannot copyright APIs for Java, an open-source or
publicly available software language.
The case is Oracle America Inc v. Google Inc, U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 13-1201.
For Microsoft: Gregory Garre, Latham & Watkins.
For Oracle: E. Joshua Rosenkranz, Orrick, Herrington &
Sutcliffe and Susan Davies, Kirkland & Ellis.
For Google: Robert Van Nest, Keker & Van Nest.
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