Google hauls Java-on-Android spat into US Supreme Court

If at first you partially succeed, try, try again

Google's long and bitter dispute with Oracle over the Java implementation in Android is set to go all the way to the US Supreme Court.

The court has listed Google's request to have the US Court of Appeals' decision in the case reviewed.

The row has been bubbling along since 2011, when Oracle alleged Google owed it “billions” because Android's class libraries replicate either the functions or the code of some of its copyrighted API packages.

Many of the deliberations in the case have since focussed on whether it is possible to copyright an API, a matter of no small interest in these API-happy times.

The last judicial word on the matter came in May this year, when the Court of Appeals decided APIs can indeed be copyrighted, before handing the matter back to a lower court for another round of argument about fair use.

Google's now gone all the way to the Supreme and according to Reuters, which has seen its filing, is now arguing that “Early computer companies could have blocked vast amounts of technological development by claiming 95-year copyright monopolies over the basic building blocks of computer design and programming.” The Chocolate Factory seems to be suggesting that Oracle is unfairly crimping innovation with its actions regarding Java in Android.

The Supreme Court doesn't have to take on the case, so Google's efforts may yet be futile. Oracle's response is due by November 7th. ®

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