Supreme Court Reviews Oracle v. Google Copyright Case

Recently, the Supreme Court met to decide whether or not they will review the Federal Circuit's decision in the Google v. Oracle Case. Jonathan Band, writing for Project DisCo, notes this is a vital step toward overturning the Federal Circuit's "flawed" ruling that found the Java APIs copyrightable.

The case has lead to widespread industry contention that the ruling could negatively disrupt the standards for open API use. Oracle, who owns the rights to the APIs, sued Google on both patent and copyright infringement last year. Though the District Court ruled in favor of Google, the Federal Circuit reversed this decision in May of 2014. The court determined that infringement had occurred on grounds other than structure, sequence, and organization; necessary interoperability standards.

Amicus curiae briefs were filed in November by Hewlett-Packard, 77 computer scientists representing the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, 41 intellectual property law professors, and other important figures and organizations from the industry. Their detailed testaments aim to support Google on the grounds that the Federal Circuit's ruling will incur negative impacts to the information technology industry.

Repercussions are already beginning to surface, as seen in Cisco's suit filed against Arista's alleged "copying of key inventions in Cisco products," as noted on a recent Cisco blog post.

As we await a court decision, interested parties can view a ledger of the conference proceedings here

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Bill Doerrfeld I am a consultant that specializes in API economy research & content creation for developer-centric programs. I study Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and related tech and develop content [eBooks, blogs, whitepapers, graphic design] paired with high-impact publishing strategies. I live and work in Seattle, and spend most of my time as Editor in Chief for Nordic APIs, a blog and knowledge center for API providers. For a time I was a Directory Manager & Associate Editor at ProgrammableWeb, and still add new APIs to the directory every now and then. Let's connect on Twitter at @DoerrfeldBill, or follow me on LinkedIn.