The US Supreme Court gives internet giant Google a chance to defend its position in its legal dispute with software group Oracle. Google bought the Android mobile operating system in 2005 and copied Java code to attract developers but refused to take a license, Oracle contends. "In the end, a finding that Google infringed Oracle's original works will promote, not stifle, future innovation".
Google won twice in lower courts, but lost to Oracle in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, who ruled that Google using the copyrighted code for Android did not constitute fair use.
Google said it welcomed the court's decision to review the case.
Oracle, however, says fair use is no way to describe how Google tapped into Java. Moreover, a favorable Supreme Court ruling for the database maker could have financial implications for many uninvolved companies as well.
Now, following an appeal from Google, the nation's top court will hear the case and decide whether to uphold the circuit court decision or strike it down.
Google was a few times ruled in the matter and would not have violated any rules. The Trump administration, responding to a request from the court for its views, said the justices should stay out of the case. Oracle disagrees with this interpretation and says the lines of code are a creative product. "Developers should be able to create applications across platforms and not be locked into one company's software", Walker said.
At the Supreme Court, Google argues that software interfaces are categorically ineligible for copyright protection. Oracle obtained the rights to Java when it acquired Sun Microsystems.
After the appeals court overturned that ruling, a jury found in a second trial that Google had made "fair use" of the programming code.