By Jason Rantanen
Yesterday, Dennis wrote about competing questions in a Supreme Court cert petition. In its merits brief in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., filed on Wednesday, Respondent Oracle also frames the issues a bit differently than Google did.
Google Questions presented
Oracle Questions presented
|1. Whether copyright protection extends to a software interface.||1. Under §102(a), computer programs, like all “works of authorship,” have “[c]opyright protection,” as long as they are “original.” The merger doctrine does not make any expression unprotectable except in the rare circumstance where there were very few ways to express the idea. Does the Copyright Act protect the code and organization that Google concedes were original and creative and that Oracle could have written in countless ways to perform the same function?|
|2. Whether, as the jury found, petitioner’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.||2. Was the Court of Appeals correct in holding that Google’s copying was not fair, where Google conceded it copied for commercial purposes and that the code it copied serves the same purpose and has the same meaning, and Google did not dispute the evidence that Android competes directly with Oracle’s work, harming its actual and potential markets?|
Read Google’s brief here: Brief of Petitioner (Google)
Read Oracle’s brief here: Respondent Brief (Oracle)
We’re reading the Google and Oracle briefs in my Introduction to Intellectual Property class this semester as part of the concluding exercise for the unit on copyright. On Monday we’ll discuss and debate the two positions in small groups then see which is most persuasive to a group of smart law students with a few weeks of copyright law.