Microsoft teaming up with Oracle against Google in Java case?

Summary:UPDATED: Oracle v. Google is far from over -- especially if Microsoft is really getting involved with the legal battle over intellectual property.

The legal war between Oracle and Google has been rather muted for the last several months, but there could be a major new twist in the case.

Reuters has reported that legal representatives for Microsoft told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a briefing on Tuesday that it would support Oracle.

We reached out to Oracle to confirm, but the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based corporation declined to comment.

Not many more details are available at this time, but it would seemingly line up with Microsoft's other patent-related lawsuits against Motorola Mobility , now a Google subsidiary.

See also: Jury strikes a blow against software patentsGoogle kicks Oracle in its patent teethJury clears Google of infringing on Oracle patentsOracle v. Google jury stumbling over tech terminology, illnessCopyrights, APIs, and Oracle vs Google | CNET: Complete trial coverage

To recall, Oracle originally sued Google in 2010 over copyright infringement related to the use of 37 Java APIs used on the Android mobile operating system.

Google argued they were free to use because the Java programming language is free to use, and the APIs are required to use the language. Oracle tried to make the case that Google had knowingly used the APIs without a license from Sun Microsystems, which was bought by Oracle in 2010.

But last spring, a federal jury at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco sided with Google on nearly all of the copyright claims as well as on all of the patent disputes.

At this point in the case, Oracle is working on an appeal after a federal judge rejected the Java owner's motion for a new trial . The two parties also met several times last summer to discuss damages.

In one instance, at a case management hearing in June, Oracle's legal team explained that it filed a stipulation in which Google was asked to pay $0 in statutory damages (in reference to the nine lines of code in the rangeCheck method and the test files) in order to move proceedings along faster as it works toward an appeal.

UPDATE: Oracle provided us with the following comment:

Microsoft, NetApp, EMC, and the Business Software Alliance to computer science professors, the former U.S. Register of Copyrights, and organizations representing photographic licensors and graphic artists, filed amicus briefs today in support of Oracle’s Federal Circuit appeal of the opinion from the Northern District of California.

Topics: Legal, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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