The Trump administration has reportedly urged the Supreme Court to reject an appeal by Google relating to Oracle’s attempt to collect more than $8 billion in royalties for Google’s use of copyrighted Oracle software code.
Bloomberg reports that the Trump administration has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject an appeal by Alphabet Inc.’s Google which attempted to have Oracle’s lawsuit thrown out. Oracle alleges that Google owes more than $8 billion in royalties for the use of Oracle’s copyrighted programming code in the Android operating system.
The administration made the suggestion on the same day that President Trump attended a re-election campaign fundraiser at the estate of Oracle co-founder and billionaire Larry Ellison. Ellison hosted a golf outing with the President which cost a minimum of $100,000 per couple to attend, those that wanted to participate in a policy roundtable with the President could pay $250,000.
Following the announcement of the event, employees at Oracle demanded that Ellison cancel the event. One current Oracle employee discussed the fundraiser with Recode stating: “It signals what I and many others have always feared. Culturally, Oracle is the type of place where you’ll work with many lovely people who you share common ideals with, but those ideals have to be left at the door in service of the company.”
Recode spoke with one former and five current employees who stated that tensions were high at the company. 230 people in the company felt strongly enough about the situation to sign a petition addressed to Ellison calling on him to cancel the fundraiser.
The group behind the petition, Oracle Employees for Ethics, stated: “Larry Ellison’s personal implicit endorsement and financial support of Donald Trump not only damages our brand perception and misrepresents the diverse views of our company, but it adversely affects the morale of the individuals and communities who comprise Oracle. We are signing this petition because we want our voices heard and we refuse to be complacent and complicit in Larry Ellison’s support of such a divisive person.”
Google is currently challenging an appeals court ruling that it violated Oracle copyrights by including Oracle-owned Java programming in its Android operating system. U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco said Wednesday in a filing with the court that Google’s “verbatim copying” of Oracle’s code into a new product wasn’t necessary to foster innovation.
Francisco asked the high court in September, on behalf of the administration, not to hear Google’s appeal. The justices agreed to take the case and are scheduled to hold oral arguments on March 24. Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said in an email: “The Obama Solicitor General Don Verrilli supported Oracle’s position in Oracle v. Google, a position maintained by Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco.”