Patent Charges Still Slide Off Google After Trial

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge refused to set aside the jury verdict that found Google did not infringe Oracle’s patented Java technology to develop the Android operating system.
     In response to Oracle’s motion for summary judgment, U.S. District Judge William Alsup told the tech developer that there was “sufficient evidence at trial to support the jury’s finding of non-infringement.”
     “Oracle’s argued (and continues to argue) that ‘data’ in the claim construction and claims themselves referred narrowly to ‘the ultimate data to be obtained or used after symbolic references resolution is performed,'” Alsup wrote, referring to Oracle’s argument regarding its ‘104 patent (parentheses in original)
     “This argument was reasonably rejected by the jury,” he added. “The values in the Field ID table in the Android dex file were ‘data’ in the ordinary sense of the word. The jury was reasonable to adopt this understanding of the term ‘data’ and reject Oracle’s expert Dr. [John] Mitchell’s opinion that the ‘data’ was restricted to ‘ultimate data’ in Android.”
     “Even adopting Oracle’s belated effort to construe ‘data’ to mean ‘the ultimate data to be obtained or used after symbolic reference resolution is performed,’ a reasonable jury could still find that Android did not infringe,” Alsup wrote, denying the summary judgment motion for the ‘104 patent.
     For Oracle’s ‘520 patent, the judge pointed out that the dispute focused on whether the patent’s “simulating execution” process limitation encompassed Android’s pattern-matching technique in its dx tool.
     “The jury was reasonable to find that the dx tool did not simulate execution of the byte code within the meaning of the claim limitation,” Alsup wrote.
     The 11-page decision concludes by taking star Oracle witness Dr. Mitchell to task for possibly contributing to the loss.
     Google exposed flaws in Mitchell’s initial report finding patent infringement in a videotaped deposition, and it played portions of that interview to the jury.
     “The forgoing is sufficient but it is worth adding that Oracle’s infringement case was presented through Dr. Mitchell,” Alsup wrote. “A reasonable jury could have found that his many ‘mistakes’ in his report merely to be convenient alterations to fix truthful admissions earlier made before he realized the import of his admissions. For this reason, a reasonable jury could have rejected every word of his testimony.”
     Alsup will next decide whether application programming interfaces (APIs) are copyrightable, resolving an issue that led the jury to return a mixed verdict in the copyright phase of the trial.
     Google said the mixed verdict opens the door to a mistrial, and Alsup is expected to release a verdict on that after the API copyright decision, which he plans to issue this week.
     The mistrial finding rests on Alsup’s decision regarding copyrightability of the codes. If the judge decides the APIs are not copyrightable, the jury’s failure to reach a unanimous infringement verdict on that point is moot.Oracle is expected to appeal the jury’s decision and Alsup’s rulings regardless.

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