U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Intellectual Property dispute between Oracle And Google impacting smartphones


On November 15, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a copyright battle between Oracle and Google over smartphone software.  The justices granted certiorari nearly a decade after Oracle first sued Google for using copyrighted pieces of Java software when it built its Android smartphone platform.

In its lawsuit against Google, Oracle claimed that Google incorporated into its Android smartphone blocks of prewritten computer code that Oracle developed to assist programmers.  Google countered that the code it used was not copyrightable, but the Federal Circuit, in 2014, disagreed and ruled in Oracle’s favor.  In a subsequent jury trial, the jury found that Google’s use of the code was permissible under the copyright law’s fair use doctrine.  However, the Federal Circuit overturned that verdict in 2018.  In January, Google asked the Supreme Court to take the case in order to review both Federal Circuit rulings. 

When the Supreme Court issues its ruling, which is expected in mid-2020, it will be its first precedential decision addressing software copyrights.  As such, it has the potential to be a landmark decision because it implicates several copyright issues including fair use and appellate deference in copyright cases.  Briefing will take place in the coming months, followed by oral arguments in early-2020.  

The lawsuit has attracted significant attention from the technology industry.  The case is Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., case number 18-956, in the Supreme Court of the United States.

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About David Felderman

David Felderman is a Partner in Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP's Pennsylvania office. Mr. Felderman has extensive experience in complex litigation.Prior to Faruqi & Faruqi, Mr. Felderman was a Partner at Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. (2000-2018) where he handled class action litigation with a focus on antitrust and securities fraud cases. In addition, from 2008 through 2018, he served as the Partner in charge of the day-to-day operations of the firm's Global Portfolio Monitoring Platform where he provided portfolio monitoring services to institutional investors including public pension funds, Taft-Hartley funds, asset managers, and other institutional investors.Throughout his career, Mr. Felderman has participated in litigating numerous securities fraud and antitrust class actions including the following: In re The Bancorp, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14 Civ. 0952 (GMS) (D. Del.); In re Sunoco, Inc., April Term, 2012, No. 3894 (Pa. Common Pleas, Phila. County); In re Harleysville Mutual, November Term, 2011, No. 2137 (Pa. Common Pleas, Phila. County); In re Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. Equity/Debt Securities Litigation, No. 08-cv-5523 (S.D.N.Y.); In re Alltel Shareholder Litigation, Civ. No. 2975-CC (Del. Chancery); In re Converium/SCOR Holding (Switzerland) AG Litigation, No. 04 Civ. 7897 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y.); In re AOL Time Warner Securities Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1500 (S.D.N.Y.); Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., No. 03-cv-04578; In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, No. 04-5184 (D. N.J.); In re Monosodium Glutamate Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1328 (D. Minn); and In re Flat Glass Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1200 (W.D. Pa.).Mr. Felderman was also previously associated with McEldrew & Fullam, P.C. (1998-2000) where his practice focused on medical malpractice and product liability litigation. Prior to that, Mr. Felderman served as a law clerk to the Honorable Bernard J. Goodheart in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Professionally, Mr. Felderman served a three-year term (2000-2002) as a member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division where he Co-Chaired Legal Line, P.M. for three consecutive years. Under his leadership, Legal Line, P.M. won the National Association of Bar Executives 2001 LEXIS Community and Education Outreach Award. Mr. Felderman also formerly served as a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association's State Civil Committee (1998-1999) and the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association's New Lawyer Section Leadership Council (1998-1999). Additionally, Mr. Felderman currently serves as a member of the Penn Alumni Interview Program where he is responsible for interviewing prospective freshman. Mr. Felderman previously served as a member of the Board Directors of the Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia (2002-2006) where he served as President (2004-2006) and Chair of the Membership Committee (2004-2006). He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Penn's Alumni Class Leadership Council (2003-2008) where he served a two-year term as Chair of the By-Laws Committee (2006-2008). Moreover, Mr. Felderman served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Society of The William Penn Charter School (1998-2001) where he served a one-year term as Secretary (2000-2001). He has also served as a Class Agent since 1998 and served as the Reunion Chair for the Class of 1987's 15th, 20th, 25th, and 30th reunions.Mr. Felderman earned his J.D., cum laude, from Temple University, Beasley School of Law (1996). He is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., Economics, 1991).

Tags: United States Supreme Court, Google, Oracle, Java, Android, Intellectual Property, copyright law, smartphones David Felderman David Felderman
Partner at Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP

Pennsylvania office
Tel: (215) 277-5770
Fax: (215) 277-5771
E-mail: dfelderman@faruqilaw.com

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