Google has taken its legal battle with Oracle over the use of Java in Android to the Supreme Court, saying that the highest court must intervene to protect technological innovation.
The case stems from a lawsuit filed four years ago by Oracle, contending that Google's Android mobile operating system infringed copyrights associated with the Java programming language, which Oracle took ownership of when it acquired Sun Microsystems earlier that year.
The contentious issue in the case was whether it is possible to copyright an API (Application Programming Interface), something that defines how different applications communicate and work with one another. Oracle said Google's Android OS infringed on its rights to the structure of 37 Java APIs.
Google won the first round of the enormous $1 billion lawsuit, after a lower court in 2012 ruled that Java APIs used in Android cannot be copyrighted. But the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in May this year reversed that ruling, saying that the disputed elements of Java are entitled to copyright protection.
Now, Google has requested the Supreme Court to hear the case, arguing that the Federal Circuit's ruling crimps innovation. "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 search giant said.
However, Google's efforts may go in vain, as the Supreme Court court doesn’t accept all cases and it might decline the company's request.