Did Google use Oracle’s software interfaces fairly?
Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google has taken its long-running software copyright dispute with Oracle (ORCL) to the United States Supreme Court. Google wants the high court to answer two important questions in relation to the copyright dispute. First, Google wants the court to say whether copyright protection extends to a software interface. Second, Google wants the court to say whether the way it used Oracle’s copyrighted software interface in building the Android mobile operating system constitutes fair use.
Android is the operating system that powers the vast majority of mobile devices globally. According to data from StatCounter, Android held a 74.5% share of the global mobile operating system market at the end of January compared to a 23% share for Apple’s iOS, 1.1% for KaiOS, 0.3% for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows, and 0.28% for Samsung’s (SSNLF) mobile operating system. But Samsung’s high-end smartphones are based on Android. Despite having its in-house mobile operating system, BlackBerry (BB) has shifted to making its latest smartphones using Android.
Oracle seeking almost $9.0 billion in damages
In 2010, Oracle sued Google over its use of copyrighted software interfaces in creating Android. The companies have been fighting it out in court since, with a United States court of appeals last year ruling in favor of Oracle, which is seeking about $9.0 billion in damages from Google in the case. The Supreme Court is Google’s last chance to stop Oracle’s huge damages claim.