Google Cleared of Infringement on Android

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Google did not infringe any part of two Oracle patents in developing the Android operating system, a jury ruled Wednesday after nearly eight days of deliberation.



     Conforming to an agreement the two tech companies reached last week, U.S. District Judge William Alsup discharged the jury after the verdict on the claims of Oracle’s ‘104 or ‘520 patents.
     There will be no damages phase in the trial.
     What was once hailed as a landmark infringement case fizzled into what will likely be a mistrial for the copyright phase and a series of appeals.
     Google survived the case relatively unscathed despite inclusion of an old email in which one of its employees said that alternatives to Java technology “all suck.”
     Earlier in the multiphase trial, the jury reached a mixed verdict over Oracle’s copyright claims. Though the jury concluded that Google had copied some lines of Oracle code, it could not decide if the company infringed on Oracle’s Java application programming interfaces (APIs).
     Alsup said he plans to announce whether the APIs are even copyrightable “sometime next week maybe.”
     If he decides that they are, then he will have to rule on Google’s mistrial motion.
     Alsup volunteered last week that he has written programming code similar to the APIs “hundreds of times before.”
     Often critical of Oracle’s infringement claims, the judge scoffed at lead attorney David Boies’s insistence on targeting Google profits for the nine lines of demonstrably copied code and decompiled files.
     Both sides agreed last week to have Alsup determine statutory damages for those infringements. The award won’t exceed $150,000 – small change for a trial that has already cost both sides millions of dollars in legal fees – and could be a great deal less than that.
     When Oracle filed originally filed the lawsuit in August 2010, the company estimated its damages to be over $1 billion.
     Alsup adjourned any future proceedings until after the Memorial Day weekend.

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