Supreme Court Decision Affects Independent Shops
April 8, 2021—The Supreme Court reached a decision in a decade-long copyright dispute, Google v. Oracle, that sets a precedent that will benefit the independent repair business, according to a press release.
The case was originally found in favor of Oracle, saying that Google had violated a software copyright when it copied a small part of the application program interfaces (API) code necessary to enable interoperability with programs for Google’s Android platform.
The Auto Care Association, along with Static Control, filed an amicus brief on Jan. 13, 2020, regarding the potential that if the lower court decision had been permitted to stand, it would severely limit the ability of aftermarket companies to produce compatible replacement parts for software-driven vehicles.
The decision, made by a vote of 6-2, will ensure auto parts manufacturers have software that is compatible with what is installed by OEMs.
“The Auto Care Association (ACA) is pleased with the April 5 decision by the Supreme Court, which stated that application program interfaces are fair use for building compatible components,” Aaron Lowe, senior vice president of regulatory and government affairs at ACA, said in a statement.