Immaterialgüter- und Wettbewerbsrecht

Google v. Oracle: When Innovation Overwhelmed Copyright Law

Muñoz Ferrandis, CarlosGoogle v. Oracle: When Innovation Overwhelmed Copyright Law 2021, 10 S.

The US Supreme Court Decision on Google v. Oracle (Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., US Supreme Court, No. 18–956) may well be one of the most prominent decisions of the decade, with regards to copyright law and software (and broadly, to innovation and IP laws).

As the author states: "This story is about changing times, about an era where a constant and voracious pace of innovation is overwhelming legal systems, and in this case, copyright law". More precisely, the US 'fair use' framework is instrumentalized by the judges aiming at achieving a much needed equilibrium between copyright law and the use of specific software features, such as API-related code (i.e. declaring code) crucial for interoperability purposes. Notwithstanding the complexity of the case and the considerable merits of such a decision, the price to pay to achieve the outcome of the case was an exceptional instrumentalization of the 'fair use' framework.

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