Google has been a dealt a blow in its copyright battle with Oracle after the US government said that the country’s Supreme Court should deny the search company’s petition to hear the dispute.
On May 26, Donald Verrilli, the US solicitor general at the Department of Justice, said Google’s petition should be denied.
At the centre of the dispute are 37 application programming interfaces (APIs) used in Oracle’s Java computer program. The federal circuit previously ruled that the APIs were copyrightable and that Google’s Android software infringed them.
The solicitor general is referred to by some as the ‘tenth justice’, in reference to the Supreme Court’s nine judges. His or her opinion does carry weight.
A Google spokesperson said: “We appreciate the solicitor general’s careful review of this issue; however, we’re disappointed with these conclusions.”
A spokesperson for Oracle said the recommendation “affirms the importance of copyright protection as an incentive for software innovation”.
The Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision on the case in June.