The Supreme Court today announced it will take up the longstanding copyright dispute between Google and Oracle.
The decision to hear the case marks a temporary win for Google, which in January petitioned the court to intervene in the 9-year-old court battle.
“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,” Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs said in a statement. “Developers should be able to create applications across platforms and not be locked into one company’s software.”
The dispute centers on Google using the Oracle-owned programming language Java as the backbone of its widely used Android operating system. Google has argued the language is considered “fair use” and thus exempted from certain copyright protections.
Oracle contends the opposite and wants Google to pay for using technology it owns. A federal appeals court ruled in Oracle’s favor last year. Oracle is asking for $9 billion in damages.
“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,” Oracle spokesperson Deborah Hellinger said in a statement. “We look forward to presenting our arguments, which have been embraced by the Solicitor General and the Federal Circuit.”
Google previously sought the Supreme Court’s intervention in the case in 2014 after a circuit court ruled Oracle’s code was protected by copyright laws. That request was denied.
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