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Supreme Court to hear Google-Oracle copyright fight

A photo of the Supreme Court building at sunset.
Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images.

The Supreme Court said Friday it will hear Google’s appeal in the long-running copyright dispute between the search company and Oracle.

The big picture: The two tech giants have been feuding for nearly a decade over whether Google illegally used parts of Oracle’s Java code for its Android software, with Oracle seeking billions of dollars in damages.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court granted Google’s petition to hear the case in
a brief order.

  • The case involves key issues surrounding permissible use for software development, with Google arguing it made fair use of the code and did not infringe copyright.

What they're saying:

“We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to review the case and we hope that the court reaffirms the importance of software interoperability in American competitiveness. Developers should be able to create applications across platforms and not be locked into one company's software.”
— Kent Walker, Google senior vice president of global affairs, in a statement.
"We are confident the Supreme Court will preserve long established copyright protections for original software and reject Google’s continuing efforts to avoid responsibility for copying Oracle’s innovations. We believe the Court will reject any reasoning that permits copying verbatim vast amounts of software code, used for the same purpose and same way as the original. That is not “transformative,” and certainly not fair use. We look forward to presenting our arguments, which have been embraced by the Solicitor General and the Federal Circuit. In the end, a finding that Google infringed Oracle’s original works will promote, not stifle, future innovation."
— Deborah Hellinger, head of global corporate communications, Oracle