Google urges Supreme Court to act on Oracle ruling, shut down copyright claims on API’s

Gigaom

Google warned the Supreme Court this week it must act now to reverse a bombshell court decision from this summer that could stunt the technology sector « by granting unwarranted, 95-year (or longer) monopolies on the basic building blocks of innovation. »

The case turns on a claim by Oracle that it owns 37 Java-related application protocol interfaces (API’s) that are used in Google’s Android operating system. If [company]Oracle[/company] prevails, it could seek millions from [company]Google[/company] and from thousands of Android developers around the world, and inspire other companies to make similar API-based claims.

The Google-Oracle fight dates from 2012 when a federal judge in California concluded that the API’s, which consist of short lines of code known as « Java method headers » and are used to call up basic instructions, did not qualify for copyright. An appeals court, however, overruled him and stated that the API’s are subject to the same copyright protection as works of literature or software programs as a whole.

Even though the appeals…

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