The Supreme Court is staying out of a long-running legal battle between technology giants Oracle and Google over copyright protection for a computer program that powers most of the world’s smartphones and computer tablets.

The justices said Monday they won’t review an appeals court ruling that said software maker Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) could copyright portions of the Java programming platform that Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) used to build its popular Android software for mobile devices.

The case has big connections to the Triangle.

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) along with Yahoo! and HP had supported the Google argument in the case.

Oracle has a major outpost in Morrisville at the former Tekelec headquarters. Oracle acquired Tekelec in 2013.

“If the Federal Circuit’s holding had been the law at the inception of the Internet age, early computer companies could have blocked vast amounts of technological development by claiming 95-year copyright monopolies over the basic building blocks of computer design and programming,” Google had argued, according to Bloomberg.

Oracle is seeking roughly $1 billion in damages for claims that Google stole some of the Java technology that Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems Inc.

A federal district court ruled in 2012 that federal copyright laws didn’t cover the program. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed, saying it was copyright protected.

Google operates a software office in Chapel Hill and a big data center in western North Carolina.