In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology and life science news:

  • The FDA approves a drug-oozing stent to fight addiction
  • Alibaba won – and lost – a big friend in Washington
  • Google prevails over Oracle in big Android suit
  • Microsoft teams with Facebook for an undersea cable project

The details:

  • FDA approves first drug-oozing implant to control addiction

Federal health officials on Thursday approved an innovative new option for Americans struggling with addiction to heroin and painkillers: a drug-oozing implant that curbs craving and withdrawal symptoms for six months at a time.

The first-of-a-kind device, Probuphine, arrives as communities across the U.S. grapple with a wave of addiction tied to opioids, highly-addictive drugs that include legal pain medications like OxyContin and illegal narcotics like heroin. Roughly 2.5 million Americans suffer from addiction disorders related to the drugs, according to federal estimates.

The implant from Braeburn Pharmaceuticals is essentially a new, long-term delivery system for an established drug, buprenorphine, which has long been used to treat opioid addiction. But its implantable format could help patients avoid dangerous relapses that can occur if they miss a medication dose.

The matchstick-size implant slowly releases a low dose of buprenorphine over six months. Previously the drug was only available as a pill or film that dissolves under the tongue. It is considered a safer, more palatable alternative to methadone, the decades-old standard for controlling opioid addiction.

Probuphine is intended for patients who have already been stabilized on low-to-medium doses of buprenorphine for at least a half year. Braeburn estimates that one fourth, or 325,000, of the 1.3 million patients currently taking buprenorphine meet that criterion.

  • How Alibaba won – and lost – a friend in Washington

A respected anti-counterfeiting coalition in Washington that once called for Alibaba’s websites to be blacklisted later reversed its position. The International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition welcomed Alibaba as a member and invited its founder to be the keynote speaker at its spring conference in Florida.

An Associated Press analysis of public filings shows that the coalition’s public comments shifted from criticism to praise as the personal and financial ties between Alibaba and the group deepened, even as other industry associations – and the U.S. and Chinese governments – continued to take a harder line.

Alibaba has since been kicked out of the coalition, which is undergoing a governance audit. A probe by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into Alibaba’s accounting practices and sales data has raised further questions about the company.

  • Jury sides with Google in battle over Android software

Google’s Android software just dodged a $9 billion bullet.

A federal jury in San Francisco has found that Google didn’t need permission to use a rival’s programming tools as it built Android – now the world’s leading smartphone operating software and a key part of Google’s multi-billion dollar Internet business.

Software competitor Oracle claimed Google had stolen its intellectual property and reaped huge profits by copying pieces of an Oracle programming language called Java. But the jury in U.S. District Court found that Google made “fair use,” under copyright law, of Java elements that help different software programs work together.

Oracle, which had sought $9 billion in damages, immediately said it would appeal.

  • Microsoft, Facebook team up to build undersea Internet cable

Microsoft and Facebook are building a new underwater Internet cable that will cross the Atlantic Ocean, carrying customers’ data between North America and Southern Europe.

The giant tech companies say they helped design the high-speed cable to carry data for their growing numbers of online consumers and commercial customers. The project will be operated by an affiliate of Spanish telecommunications firm Telefonica, which will sell unused capacity on the cable to other customers. It will connect data hubs in Northern Virginia and Bilbao, Spain.

Internet companies often pay to use cables owned by telecommunications providers, but the new project won’t be the first to be owned by a U.S. tech company. Google has invested in subsea projects across the Pacific.