Supreme Court Decides Landmark Google v. Oracle Case On Copyright, Interoperable Tech Products

BY Heather Greenfield
April 5, 2021

Washington — The Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the Google v. Oracle copyright case, which has been litigated for more than a decade. The outcome, which has sweeping implications for the tech industry, means the reuse of certain program elements necessary for interoperability is fair use and not an infringement of copyright law.

The Justices were asked to decide whether Google violated copyright by using less than 0.5% of the Java application programming interface (API) in Android so that Java programmers could more easily write apps for Android smartphones.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association has advocated in favor of interoperability for decades and filed an amicus brief in this Supreme Court case last year, as well as several other briefs in earlier stages of the case, compiled on our resource page here. The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“After more than a decade of litigation this ruling is a win for interoperability, copyright principles and the future of innovation. The high court’s decision that fair use extends to the functional principles of computer code means companies can offer competing, interoperable products.”

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