Team Android

The jury in the Oracle v. Google case has found that Android does not infringe on the eight claims concerning two patents (RE38,104 and 6,061,520) Oracle owns. Judge Alsup has dismissed the jury, and after a long trial they are now finished in their part of the proceedings. Now, the real work for Judge Alsup begins.

The last verdict, in which the jury found that Android did infringe on the structure, sequence, and organization (SSO) of 37 Java APIs, still needs some attention, as the jury could not agree if these should be covered under fair-use rules, so Judge Alsup will have to determine that. There were also two minor infringements found in the rangeCheck code and the eight Java test files that were inadvertently included in early releases of Android.

Should Judge Alsup find that the SSO of the Java APIs is not copyrightable, Oracle will receive damages for the rangeCheck file and test files, to a maximum of $150,000 each. If the SSO portions are found to be copyrightable, all three infringements will go to a new trial to determine damages. Of course, we fully expect Oracle to appeal every decision it can, in front of any court that will listen.

In the end, it looks like Oracle won't be getting the billions of dollars they wanted, and more importantly, won't be eligible for any injunctive relief. There will be no "Oracle Tax" like we see from Microsoft after they went after OEMs (and suspiciously won't fight Google), and Oracle will have to find another way to make money in the changing tech world. 

While it looks like a major victory for Google (though things aren't yet finished), we still have to pay for million dollar trials, and someone has to pay the legal fees on both sides. Google may have won today, but make no mistake -- our wallet lost. Until the software patent situation is revamped, the only real winners are lawyers.

More: The Verge


Reader comments

Jury finds Android did not infringe Oracle patents


Maybe this is why MS did not go after Google in the first place because of the chance Google would prevail. If Google won, then MS couldn't go after the handset manufacturers. If they go to each manufacturer, they knew they would have an easy time. Oracle wanted an instant pay out and in the end, lost.

EDIT: Also, this is not just a win for Google but for the entire developer community that relies on using API's to make their programs work. If oracle would have won, there would have been a big fall out and not just for Google and Android developers.

Actually, the use of APIs (and specifically the SSOs used to call APIs) is still unsettled.

I expect the Judge will find that these can't be infringed because they were published precisely so that Your code can call Their code, and setting a precedent that you couldn't use a header file in your code without taking a license and paying a royalty pretty much shuts down the software industry as a whole.

This judge does not seem that dumb.

And PJ over on Groklaw says it best:

And now to the media:
Here's a homework assignment for you, if you are willing. I want you to think about those $6 billion damages headlines. Where did the "information" come from? Was it an accurate tip? Remember all those articles about Google and how they were hopelessly in a mess because they had no patents to use in a counterclaim against Oracle? Where did that come from? Was it an accurate analysis? Was it expert? Think: If someone is being paid by a party to litigation, what is he likely to say? There is a difference between information and propaganda.

If only Microsoft had come after Google directly, then we could put some of these ridiculous patents to the legal test... sigh

Up yours Larry Ellison. Now you'll have to innovate for money not litigate for it. Don't you wish Google could put Oracle out of business? I might feel differently but Oracle didnt invent any of this stuff. It was bought, or stolen (probably the latter) from Sun.