Supreme Court Sides With Google Over Oracle in Multibillion-Dollar Copyright Battle

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court docket dominated for Alphabet Inc.’s Google in a multibillion-dollar battle with Oracle Corp. over parts of Google’s Android smartphone-operating system, a choice that would weaken software program copyright protections however permit builders extra room to construct on one another’s merchandise.

The court docket, in a 6-2 opinion Monday by Justice Stephen Breyer, threw out a lower-court ruling for Oracle that mentioned Android infringed its copyrights on the Java software program platform. The excessive court docket mentioned Google’s copying of some Java API code was honest use. APIs, or utility programming interfaces, are prewritten packages of laptop code that permit applications, web sites or apps to speak to 1 one other.

“Google’s copying didn’t violate the copyright regulation,” Justice Breyer wrote.

Oracle, which acquired the Java know-how when it purchased Solar Microsystems Inc. in 2010, accused Google of illegally copying greater than 11,000 traces of Java API code to develop Android, which runs greater than two billion cellular gadgets world-wide.

Oracle beforehand sought as a lot as $9 billion in damages from Google, although the corporate may need confronted challenges in amassing that a lot in penalty proceedings had it received within the excessive court docket.