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Rajvinder Jagdev and Peter FitzPatrick of Powell Gilbert consider how Google v Oracle, recently decided by the US Supreme Court, would play out in the UK, and caution against assuming the US position on fair use for software is widely applicable.
The 11-year battle between Oracle and Google has finally come to an end, with the US Supreme Court deciding that Google’s copying of the structure of the Java core application programming interfaces (APIs) constituted fair use under US copyright law. The court appears to have prioritised interoperability and reuse over the rights of the copyright holder and to have given the green light to the copying of the structure of APIs.
“Copyright law in this area is far from harmonised globally and different results might well be reached in other jurisdictions.”
Oracle v Google