After what was called “the longest civil trial that I’ve ever been in” by the lawsuit’s judge himself, Google has been found not to infringe on Oracle’s patents by a jury in San Francisco. The ruling sees Google win a major battle in the monstrous legal fight against Oracle, but the war is still far from finished.
The jury needed over a week to deliberate on the patent infringement claims, but, in the end, ruled that Oracle “has not proven by a preponderance of the evidence” that Google infringes claims 11, 27, 29, 39, 40 and 41 of United States Patent Number RE38,104 or claim 1 and 20 of United States Patent Number 6,061,520.
Just as a refresher, patent RE 38,104 describes a “method and apparatus for resolving data references in generated code”, while patent number 6,061,520 describes a “method and system for performing static initialization”. Both patents were related to the Java programming language, which Google was accused of knowingly “fragment and damage”.
Google’s win was celebrated by the company’s officials and especially by its legal team. The victory was described after the ruling as a vital one “not just for Google, but the entire Android ecosystem”. The jury has already been dismissed after announcing its decision, but Oracle will most likely appeal to the ruling.
We should also tell you that the patent phase was only one of the two important phases of the Oracle vs Google lawsuit, with accusations related to copyright infringements still waiting a definitive verdict. While the jury initially decided that Google infringed on the SSO (structure, sequence and organization) of the Java APIs, (assumed copyrightable by Oracle for the purpose of the trial), a final ruling on the issue hasn’t been announced and damages hearings related to the matter have been postponed.
Judge Alsup should have received briefs from Oracle’s and Google’s lawyers yesterday on the copyright infringement phase, but a ruling is not expected until next week. Alsup has announced that he will be taking today and tomorrow off due to “personal reasons”, so Monday, at the earliest, we should hear something official from him.
On the other hand, Oracle is probably not waiting with much excitement Judge Alsup’s ruling on this matter, as statutory damages for the copyright infringement accusations should only be of around $150,000 per count. And that is if Alsup finds Google guilty. And when you think that Oracle was hoping to get more than $1 billion in financial compensations out of this entire legal shenanigan…
Then again, if the ruling on this matter will be in favor of Google, Oracle will certainly appeal or ask for a new trial to be held in a different court. You understand, therefore, why we’re saying that Google has won this (very important) battle, but is yet to win the war.
Stay tuned on our website to find out the ruling in the copyright infringement claims, but also for more news from Oracle, who will most definitely continue fighting Google for months or maybe even years to come!