Google infringed Java copyrights in Android, jury finds
But the jury was deadlocked on the issue of fair use
IDG News Service - A jury has found that Google infringed Oracle's Java copyrights in Android but could not decide unanimously if the the infringement was protected by "fair use."
The jury's verdict, delivered Monday after a week of deliberation, is a partial victory for Oracle in its lawsuit against Google, but Oracle will have to wait longer -- possibly for a retrial -- to see whether Google will escape liability with its claim of fair use.
Google's attorney, Robert Van Nest, immediately told the judge that Google would file for a mistrial. Google's argument will be that the same jury must decide both the copyright infringement and fair use issues. The judge told both sides to submit legal briefs on that issue.
As soon as the verdict was delivered Monday, the trial moved into the patents phase of the case, with Oracle making its opening statement. The trial is in three parts, to address copyrights, patents, and then any damages Oracle should receive.
But although the patents phase is under way, the copyright phase is far from concluded. As well as the outstanding issue of fair use, Judge William Alsup , who is hearing the case, must decide whether Oracle's Java APIs (application programming interfaces) can be copyrighted at all under U.S. law.
Historically, APIs have not been considered copyrightable. But Oracle argues that the the "structure, sequence and organization" of the 166 API packages in Java are sufficiently complex to merit protection.
Google has until late Monday to submit its arguments on that issue to Alsup. The judge has not said when he will rule on the law question, but some observers expect it to happen before the damages phase of the trial begins in about two weeks.
"We appreciate the jury's efforts and know that fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin," Google said in a statement sent via email. "The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that's for the court to decide. We expect to prevail on this issue and Oracle's other claims."
Oracle thanked the jury for the verdict. "The overwhelming evidence demonstrated that Google knew it needed a license and that its unauthorized fork of Java in Android shattered Java's central write once run anywhere principle," it said.
At least one industry analyst was troubled by the jury's decision. "I was a bit disappointed by the verdict, as I think that the precedent of copyright for APIs opens up a real can of worms and potentially stifles software innovation," Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond said via email.
"The silver lining was the deadlock on fair use," he said.
- Samsung invokes Alice case to challenge two Apple patents
- Elon Musk to open up Supercharging patent designs
- Apple asks U.S. court to make Samsung remove infringing features
- Apple and Google agree to drop all patent suits
- Update: Jury finds Samsung infringed Apple patents, must pay $120M in damages
- The wrath of Koh: Samsung gets judge's ire in Apple patent case
- In Apple v. Samsung, it's a 'holy war' for $2B
- A day into the trial, Apple and Samsung already annoying each other
- Supreme Court justices raise questions about software patents
- Phil Schiller up again in next round of Apple-Samsung battle
- Cloud Computing Drives IT and Business Agility Hybrid Cloud Accelerates Time to Value What is the main focus for IT in your organization - cost or agility? Many IT discussions today focus on cost controls rather...
- Infographic:10 Reasons to Choose vCloud Air Looking to create an agile, productive, and efficient IT environment? Read this simple infographic to learn about the benefits that VMware vCloud® Air™...
- Data Visualization Techniques: From Basics to Big Data with SAS Visual Analytics This paper discusses some of the basic issues concerning data visualization, from data size and column composition, to solving unique challenges presented by...
- 5 Hybrid Cloud Starting Points Did you know that more than 50% of organizations are already using or planning a move to hybrid cloud?
- Cloud BI in Action: Recorded Webinar of Customer, Kony, Inc. See how Kony, Inc., a leading enterprise mobility company, is using TIBCO Jaspersoft for Amazon Web Services and Redshift to achieve embedded analytics...
- Cloud BI Overview: Jaspersoft for AWS Check out this overview of Jaspersoft for AWS, to easily and affordably build business intelligence solutions as well as embed visualizations and analytics... All Legal White Papers | Webcasts