Is Android a byproduct of copyright infringement? It's a heck of a question, one that has no easy answer.
Google used bits of Oracle's Java APIs when it built Android. APIs (application programming interfaces) are the tools used to carry out functions on a computer. No one disputes this. But Oracle claims that it had a copyright on its APIs, while Google argues that APIs aren't copyrightable at all.
So far, the lower courts have split. A district court agreed with Google that a "utilitarian and functional set of symbols" is the only "way to declare a given method functionality" and therefore cannot be copyrighted. The Federal Circuit, on the other hand, held that the APIs were copyrightable, but that a fair use defense might apply.
Google doesn't want to rely upon a possible fair use defense, so it has asked the Supreme Court to take the case, Reuters reports.