When Oracle took Google to court over Android things didn’t turn out so well for it. First of all the jury took just over a week to decide that Google did not infringe any Oracle patents. The company pushed on, but then Judge William Alsup ruled that Oracle Java APIs elements are not copyrightable. The final nail in the coffin of Oracle’s payout hopes came in the form of an order to pay Google’s legal fees.
As you might expect Oracle is not satisfied with an outcome that left them holding a $4 million bill for Google’s court costs. The inevitable appeal has been filed with the United States District Court in California. Interestingly the appeal was signed by Michael Jacobs of Morrison & Foerster who worked for Apple in the Samsung case in California which ended with a $1.05 billion payout for Apple.
Should Google be worried? Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents certainly thinks so. He points out the difference that the judge and jury can make. Compare the Oracle vs Google trial with the Samsung vs Apple trial and you can see how any new action might not go so well for Google. He thinks there is a real possibility of Oracle winning the API copyright liability part and Google may have to elevate the issue to the Supreme Court. It looks like Google’s “fair use” defense might not be rock solid.
Of course, Samsung is challenging the Apple case verdict as well with claims of juror misconduct. This one is far from over.