23 May 2012

Google Did Not Infringe Java Patents

The jury has ruled that Oracle's patents were not infringed by Android:
Google on Wednesday was cleared of charges that it had infringed Oracle's Java patents, ending the second major phase of the trial.

"Today's jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle’s patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem," a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Oracle, however, did not concede defeat. "Oracle presented overwhelming evidence at trial that Google knew it would fragment and damage Java," an Oracle spokesperson said via email. "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."

Oracle filed its lawsuit against Google last August and the trial began in mid-April. Oracle initially talked about $6 billion in damages. At the moment, it appears Oracle is unlikely to win enough to cover its legal costs.
All that's left is the whether or not Java's API, basically the standards for interoperability, are copyrightable.

The jury didn't rule on this, they could not come to a conclusion on fair use, and they were instructed by the judge to assume that the API is copyrightable. The judge will decide these matters of law, the jury was to rule on matters of fact.)

It appears from the Slashdot discussions that the judge actually made an effort to understand the technical issues, so his ruling should be interesting.


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