The US Supreme Court awarded the giant Google a victory in a prominent and important case for the technology industry, according to what the Financial Times said, where the court ruled that the company did not violate the law when it copied software interfaces owned by Oracle for use in the naming of the Android smartphone.
The newspaper pointed out that the decision ends a legal battle dating back more than 10 years, including claims of damages costing about $ 9 billion. The case also raised fundamental problems affecting what the newspaper described as the balance of power between established platforms and their emerging competitors in the software industry.
The court judges ruled in Google’s favor by six votes to two, conservative judges Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. The court had heard the case before the accession of Judge Amy Connie Barrett, appointed by former President Donald Trump.
The decision found that Google worked within the framework of fair use protections in the early days of the smartphone industry, when it used more than 11,000 lines of Oracle code to make the Android operating system compatible with the widely used Java program, which was later acquired by Oracle. The use of parts of the Java code made it easier for its developers to adapt the existing programs to work on Android, which is a great advantage for Google in its great competition in the field of smartphones with Apple, the manufacturer of the iPhone.
Such copying has long been common in the tech industry, according to the Financial Times, as companies usually try to make their new software compatible with the technologies that are most used.
Google has sought to position itself on the side of new competitors, and has said that the freedom to copy interfaces is important for anyone trying to compete with powerful technological platforms. But Oracle and its supporters claimed the case showed how powerful companies like Google steal tokens and have the legal power to crush competitors.