Google prevails in what it has called “the copyright case of the decade.”

Google LLC’s copying of approximately 11,000 lines of code from the Java SE application programming interface to create the Android mobile operating system was a fair use of that material as a matter of law and did not support copyright infringement by the code’s owner, Oracle America, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court has held in a six-to-two decision. In what Google has called “the copyright case of the decade,” the Court held that Google’s use included only those lines of code that were needed to allow programmers to create a new and transformative program. The opinion was authored by Justice Stephen Breyer. Justice Thomas wrote in dissent and was joined by Justice Samuel Alito. Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate (Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., April 5, 2021).

Case date: 05 April 2021
Case number: No. 18-956
Court: Supreme Court of the United States

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.


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