Computers programming experts are knowledgeable in information technology and software development and design. They are called upon to testify before a jury on technical matters such as programming language. A professor of computer science at Duke University testified as a computers expert witness for Google Inc. in the recent copyright case brought by Oracle Corp. Google prevailed in the lawsuit when the San Francisco federal jury found that Java platform programming language used by Google was fair use.
The multinational technology company argued that the application programming interface was not protected by copyright law. Google relied upon Lotus Development Corp. v. Borland Intern., Inc., 49 F. 3d 807 – Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, 1995.
Because we hold that the Lotus menu command hierarchy is uncopyrightable subject matter, we further hold that Borland did not infringe Lotus’s copyright by copying it. Accordingly, we need not consider any of Borland’s affirmative defenses. The judgment of the district court is Reversed.
Computer programming expert witnesses are essential in cases involving computer system design. Legal teams rely on the expert’s skill in conveying highly technical material in support of their legal argument to the court. U.S. District Judge William Alsup presided.