The Supreme Court listened Monday as IBM's Lotus Corporation sought to make its case against Borland International in a copyright dispute. Lotus says Borland violated copyright laws by using Lotus 1-2-3 commands in Borland's former Quattro spreadsheet programs, which were acquired by Novell last year.
Borland's lawyers argue that a system of commands is not copyrightable because it is only used to make a computer program operate.
The Supreme Court hearing comes after an appeals court decision that such commands are a "method of operation" and therefore cannot be copyrighted.
Lotus is seeking more than $100 million in damages, according to early court papers.