The case between Oracle and Google has dragged on for a while. The court had to determine whether or not Google had used Java APIs in the Android software and that were such infringements covered under fair use. While the jury did agree to the former, it was unsure to the latter question. Now, though, the jury has come out with a decision and it is in favor of Google, ruling that Google didn’t infringe Oracle’s patents.
In light of this new decision, the case would be no longer entering the damages phase since no patent infringements have been found. During the course of the case, the jury had found out that despite Oracle’s claims of multiple patent infringements, Google had used only nine lines of rangeCheck code, which was a violation of copyrights.
However, what remains to be seen is that whether Judge Alsup will decide that Java APIs can be copyrighted at all, since on this would depend whether or not Oracle will be awarded statutory damages to the tune of $150,000 per infringement count. Nonetheless, the jury was asked to make the decision under the assumption that the APIs were indeed copyrighted.
Even if the judge decides so, it would mean a very tiny sum has to be paid to Oracle by Google, not a share in Android profits like Oracle had been hoping and clamoring for. Naturally, this is rather disappointing for Oracle which said in its official statement, “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.”
Google, on the other hand, knows what a huge victory it is for the Android platform. In its statement, the company stated, “Today’s jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle’s patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem.”
Courtesy: The Verge