As of this writing, the Google v. Oracle America case is yet to be heard by the Supreme Court. Assuming that Oracle wins the case, if Google was to drop support for the contested APIs on the Android platform, would that result in less damages or other negative legal consequences either immediately or over the long term?

I notice that Google has started developing a different OS called Fuschia which can run on mobile devices, which would not infringe patented APIs. I also notice Google has started supporting a different programming language called Kotlin on Android alongside Java, even to the point of calling it "Google's preferred language for Android app development". It's worth noting that Java APIs, including the contested ones are easily accessible from Kotlin by default.

I'm wondering if, given Oracle wins, the legal consequences for Google would be materially different if Google was to suddenly drop support for the contested APIs on Android, (possibly by providing non infringing alternatives), while continuing to support, develop, and otherwise continue with the above projects.

(I'll mention here that this is an attempt to rework this closed question to be on-topic.)

  • 1
    You realize Kotlin is a JVM language? It compiles to the same bytecode and runs on the same VM as Java. They can't drop Java support without dropping Kotlin support. The lawsuit is about a specific set of APIs, not the language itself.
    – Polygnome
    May 22, 2020 at 12:48
  • @Polygnome Good point. I have now edited the question to be about dropping support for the APIs themselves instead of all support for Java/JVM bytecode.
    – Ryan1729
    May 22, 2020 at 19:56

1 Answer 1



Damages are restitution for events that have already happened (although the damage may be still in the future e.g. future lost earnings).

However, if they loose, then it is likely that the judgement will contain an injunction prohibiting them from using the contested material in the future.

They then have 4 choices:

  1. stop using them and do nothing,
  2. agree licence terms from a poor negotiating position
  3. use their own alternative
  4. keep using them and go to jail for contempt of court.

They probably aren’t considering number 4 but they are probably considering all the others.

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