SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Just 10 jurors returned Monday to deliberate Oracle’s patent infringement claims against Google after a federal judge dismissed one who called in sick.
The jury interrupted other proceedings in U.S. District Judge William Alsup’s courtroom Thursday afternoon when one of its members said she had come down with a cold and asked for Friday off. She also told Alsup she didn’t want to be dismissed from the trial.
But Alsup, who’s known for being a workhorse, instead directed the jury to go home early and return to work Friday morning.
When the juror called in sick to the courthouse Thursday evening, Alsup dismissed her first thing Friday, telling the other jurors that any more delays would be an inconvenience to them.
The juror’s dismissal marks the second loss of a juror this week. On Tuesday Alsup dismissed another juror who said car trouble on the Oakland-Bay Bridge prevented her from making it to court.
Several weeks ago, the judge told the 12 jurors that trials can still continue after losing an unspecified number of them. On Thursday he clarified the trial would continue with as few as six of them.
Based on questions from the jury on Thursday afternoon and Friday, it appears they are hung up on highly technical terminology regarding the ‘520 patent. They asked for transcripts of court testimony from Oracle’s expert Dr. John Mitchell and Google’s witness Terence Parr. The readings focused on simulated execution and pattern matching of the bytecode, a patented method Oracle claims Google stole for Android’s dx tool.
On Friday, a juror asked why the verdict must be unanimous, indicating an impasse similar to the one that resulted in a mixed verdict for the copyright infringement phase of the trial.
“Because it’s the law,” Alsup told the jury. “Congress said it had to be unanimous.”