Google has been found innocent of infringing many of Oracle’s Java patents today, according to the jury in the California case. While the company is not yet out of the woods — they were found to have committed minor copyright offenses including copying nine lines of code — the jury could not come to a unanimous decision on whether the infringed code was copied under fair use. The jury has now been dismissed, so the remaining offenses are to be deliberated by the court judge himself. As a result of the findings, Google’s damages against Oracle are extremely limited.
If the judge decides that the structure, sequence, and organization of the offended 37 Java APIs are not protected under fair use, Google will need to pay Oracle $150,000 per infringement, which could bring the total up to $450,000. Despite that nominal number, the result is a victory for Google in the short-term since the judge could dismiss all the claims if he finds the SSO cannot be copyrighted. Oracle will likely file an appeal in that case or, if the judge maintains the copyright infringement stands, the remaining three issues could be combined in a new trial.
Google released a statement after the decision saying, “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 is, understandably, not happy with the decision: “Oracle presented overwhelming evidence at trial that Google knew it would fragment and damage Java. We plan to continue to defend and uphold Java’s core write once run anywhere principle and ensure it is protected for the nine million Java developers and the community that depend on Java compatibility.”
This is not likely the end of this ordeal, but Google can at least now maintain that there is nothing specifically illegal about Android. At least until the next lawsuit.
Via: The Verge