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CCIA Files Amicus Brief in Support of Google in Oracle v. Google ~pj

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) has now filed an amicus brief [PDF; also on CCIA's website here] in support of Google in the appeal of Oracle v. Google, and I have it for you as text. Once again, the court has not yet officially accepted it, and there could be corrections, which I'll let you know about if that happens, which it frequently does. It's a more sophisticated level of argument than some of the others. Oracle, the brief says, is asking to overturn longstanding principles concerning the scope of copyright protection for computer programs, posing serious anticompetitive concerns for the tech industry. Oracle could, if successful, control who can interoperate with its products, leading to...

Amicus Brief of Intellectual Property Law Professors in Support of Google and Affirmance ~pj

Bit by bit, the amicus briefs on behalf of Google in the Oracle v. Google appeal about the uncopyrightability of Java APIs are becoming available. They are all interesting in different ways, but they all agree -- Oracle is wrong on the law and if it prevails, it will be a sad day for innovation. Copyright protection doesn't extend to procedures, processes, systems, or methods of operation, and it shouldn't. This brief, on behalf of 39 intellectual property professors, and written and signed by Pamela Samuelson, outlines three legal errors they all believe Oracle is making: that Oracle takes an unduly narrow view of 17 U.S.C. § 102(b) it takes an overbroad view of the copyrightability of the structure, sequense and organization, or SSO, of computer programs -- so did SCO, I can't help but add, also represented by David Boies, and SCO's larks were partly funded by Microsoft, who is supporting Oracle, and it misunderstands the merger doctrine as it applies to interoperability. Here's where you can find...

Microsoft Assigns Six Patents to Patent Troll Vringo -- Is This an Antitrust Issue? ~pj

Is Microsoft's motto 'Always Be Evil'? Look at this report from Joe Mullin at ars technica on Microsoft's latest patent scheming:Some days $30 million seems like a lot of money, and other days it's just a bit of a letdown. Vringo is a once-upon-a-time ringtone company that's now basically a holding company for search patents dating back to the Lycos days, and it used those patents to sue Google. In November, a federal jury found that the patents were infringed, but Google should pay just $30 million, far less than the nearly $700 million it was seeking. Investors...

Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Funds File Amicus in Support of Google in Oracle v. Google Appeal ~pj

The remarkable outpouring of support for Google in the Oracle v. Google appeal continues, with a group of well-known innovators, start-ups, and those who fund them -- innovators like Ray Ozzie, Tim O'Reilly, Mitch Kapor, Dan Bricklin, and Esther Dyson -- standing with yesterday's group of leading computer scientists in telling the court that Oracle's attempt to copyright its Java APIs would be damaging to innovation. Why? Because it would represent a change in the way copyright has worked since at least 1879, when Baker v. Selden was decided. "The scope of copyright protection for computer programs has always been carefully and purposefully limited," the brief notes. Remember Lotus v. Borland where the court found that a menu command hierarchy was an uncopyrightable method of operation "because it was essential to making use of the program's functional capabilities"? "The Java API elements at issue here are comparable to the menu hierarchy in Lotus: uncopyrightable because they constitute the method of operation through which a...

EFF Files Amicus Brief in Oracle v. Google Appeal - Finally, Computer Scientists Speak ~pj

An amazing collection of the leading computer scientists in the world have joined together to stand with Google and against Oracle in the Oracle v. Google appeal about APIs, and they ask the court to affirm Judge William Alsup's decision that the Java APIs are not copyrightable. It's in an amicus brief [PDF] that EFF has just filed. Here's EFF's press release. And what do they say to the court? Exactly what you'd say, if you filed an amicus brief. Exactly what every computer scientist I know would say if filing an amicus brief about APIs:...
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