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URGENT-Appeals court sides with Oracle in copyright suit vs. Google

SAN FRANCISCO, May 9 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday ruled that Oracle Corp is entitled to copyright protection over certain parts of the Java programming language in a high profile lawsuit against Google Inc.

The issue, decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, is being closely watched by software developers in Silicon Valley.

Google's Android operating system is the world's best-selling smartphone platform. Oracle sued Google in 2010, claiming that Google had improperly incorporated parts of Java into Android.

A San Francisco federal judge had decided that Oracle could not claim copyright protection on parts of Java, but on Friday a three judge Federal Circuit panel reversed that ruling.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Nick Zieminski)