The case Oracle America Inc. vs. Google Inc. has been subject for a number of trials in the US courts and involves a number of questions regarding legal protection of APIs. One of the central issues was whether the “structure, sequence and organization” of an API was copyrightable and it was concluded by the appeals court that Oracles API was protected by copyright. However, in the latest ruling from May 26 2016, the jury found that Android did not infringe the Oracle-owned copyrights since Android’s use was protected by the exception of “fair use”. In Europe the starting point is that software and API:s are protected by copyright. However, there are also in Europe a number of exceptions to the scope of protection.
Siri Mårtensson, Delphi Law firm, a lawyer and expert in IT- and Intellectual Property Law gives you an introduction to how APIs can be legally protected.