Google bloodied but not beaten by Oracle case verdict
Google did infringe Oracle’s copyright with its Android OS, a US court has ruled – but the verdict is far from a damning defeat for the search giant.
A Northern California jury found that Google infringed upon’s copyrights on the structure of part of the Java software programming language. However, the jury failed to decide after days of deliberation whether Google had the right to fair use of that copyrighted structure.
Despite finding Google infringed upon some of Oracle’s copyrights, the lack of a clear, full decision may represent a setback for Oracle. Legal expert claim the chances of Oracle securing the billion dollar payout it was seeking are now slim. Google’s lawyers have also challenged the key jury decision on Java copyrights, moving for a mistrial.
Oracle sued Google in August 2010, saying its Android OS infringes on its intellectual property rights to the Java programming language. Google says it does not violate Oracle’s patents and that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java, an open source software language.
Earlier in the case, estimates of potential damages against Google ran as high as $6.1 billion (£3.77 billion). But Google successfully narrowed Oracle’s patent claims, so that the bulk of Google’s damages exposure now derives mostly on copyright claims. Oracle is seeking roughly $1 billion in copyright damages.
The seven woman, five man jury will now begin hearing evidence on Oracle’s patents after rendering the copyright verdict. A third phase to decide damages will come after the patent testimony.