Jury rejects Oracle patent-infringement claims against Google

By Graeme Burton
24 May 2012 View Comments

The jury in the Google-Oracle trial has concluded that there was no infringement by Google of Oracle's Java patents.

The verdict was unanimous, and the jury has been dismissed, leaving the judge to decide some of the issues that arose in the copyright phase.

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These will include damages for nine infringing lines of code that were found to be copied. US District Judge William Alsup will decide on damages over the next week, but the award is likely to be minimal – indeed, the Judge himself described the lines of code as so basic that he could have written them himself.

Oracle had claimed that Google had infringed patents related to its Java programming environment – US patent number RE38,104 and US patent number 6,061,520 – in its Android operating system, which is a "clean room" implementation of Java. 

Google executives, understandably, were delighted with the outcome. In a statement, the company wrote: "Today's jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle's patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem."

Oracle claimed that Google's real aim was to "fragment and damage Java".

The courtroom victory for Google ought not only help safeguard the Android operating system against legal claims by Oracle, but also companies working with Android, including manufacturers building devices around the operating system. However, despite being well beaten in this case Oracle may appeal.

According to reports, Oracle's case did not come close to swaying the jury, with only one member, foreman Greg Thompson, siding with Oracle.

Before the case, Google had offered to settle out of court, offering $2.8m (£1.8m) in damages and 0.5 per cent of Android revenue on one patent until its expiration – in December this year – and 0.015 per cent on a second patent until its expiration in April 2018.

This offer was rejected. 

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