The US Supreme Court upheld Google’s petition to transfer the trial of the 2010 Oracle vs. Google trial to a higher court. Last year, the US Federal Court of Appeals upheld the appeal of Oracle and revised the 2016 decision in favor of Google regarding the use of the Java API in the Android platform. In response to a request from Google, the US Supreme Court agreed to study the case file and return to the consideration of intellectual property rights of program interfaces (APIs).
In 2012, a judge with programming experience agreed with the position of Google and admitted that the API-forming name tree is part of the command structure - a set of characters associated with a particular function. Such a set of commands is interpreted by the copyright law as not falling under copyright law, since duplication of the structure of teams is an indispensable condition for ensuring compatibility and portability. Therefore, the identity of the lines with declarations and heading descriptions of methods does not matter - for the implementation of similar functionality, the API-forming function names must coincide, even if the functionality itself is implemented differently. Since there is only one way of expressing an idea or function, everyone is free to use identical declarations, and no one can monopolize such expressions.
Oracle appealed and reversed the decision in the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals - the appeals court ruled that the Java API is the intellectual property of Oracle. After that, Google changed tactics and tried to prove that the implementation of the Java API in the Android platform is in the nature of fair use, and this attempt was successful. Google’s position was that the creation of portable software does not require an API license, and repeating the API to create compatible functional counterparts is “fair use”. According to Google, the classification of the API as intellectual property will negatively affect the industry, as it undermines the development of innovation, and the creation of compatible functional analogs of software platforms may be the subject of lawsuits.
Oracle filed an appeal for the second time, and again the case was reviewed in her favor. The court ruled that the principle of "fair use" is not applicable to Android, since this platform is developed by Google with mercenary goals, which are realized not through direct sale of a software product, but through control of related services and advertising. At the same time, Google retains control over users through a proprietary API for interacting with its services, which is forbidden to be used to create functional analogues, i.e. The use of the Java API is not limited to non-commercial use.