SCOTUS Seeks DoJ Input on Google-Oracle Java Dispute

SCOTUS Seeks DoJ Input on Google-Oracle Java Dispute


The clash of the titans over Java may end up being heard by the Supreme Court, possibly hinging on what the solicitor general has to say about it. SCOTUS has asked for advice on whether the case merits its attention. “This is going to be a true 2015 nail-biter for the industry,” said tech analyst Al Hilwa. “This is a judgment on what might constitute fair use in the context of software.”

The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday invited the Obama administration to weigh in on whether it should hear arguments in the ongoing dispute between Google and Oracle over Java copyrights.

The move is a response to Google’s October petition for a writ of certiorari following a May 2014 federal circuit court decision in favor of Oracle.

Google argued that the code was not copyrightable under section 102(b) of the Copyright Act, which withholds copyright protection from any idea, procedure, process, system, or method of operation. It also argued that the copied elements were a key part of allowing interoperability between Java and Android.

Numerous large technology companies, including HP, Red Hat and Yahoo, have filed amicus briefs supporting Google’s position.



Submitted by: Katherine Noyes


  1. I’m pretty sure it was API that the argued was not copyrightable. There was some small amount of code that Google argued was small enough to be considered fair use, but that’s not what has the earth shattering potential. It’s the API copyrightability that everyone should be worried about.

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