A California federal jury ruled on Wednesday that Google did not infringe on Oracle’s patents in developing the Android operating system.
Following a week of deliberations, the jury in the intellectual property case has come back with an unanimous verdict that Google did not infringe on Oracle’s Java patents.
"Today’s jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle’s patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem,” Google said in an e-mailed statement to Mashable.
The judge reportedly dismissed the jurors and the third phase of the trial, which would have covered damages if Google was found guilty.
Oracle also released a statement following the verdict: “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.”
So where does the case go from here? The judge still needs to rule on 37 APIs to see if the sequence and structure of the software infringes on copyright issues. If he decides they are not protected by copyright laws, there would be no damages phase but Oracle may be subject to statutory damages of about $1 million. Note: This sum wouldn’t come close to covering Oracle’s legal bills.
If the judge rules that there is copyright infringement with the APIs, a new jury would come in and a separate trial would begin.
Oracle came into the case seeking $6 billion in damages.
Earlier this month, a federal jury issued a partial verdict in the first phase of the case. The jury found that Google infringed on Oracle’s Java patents, but it was deadlocked around whether Google proved that its copying of Java was “fair use.”
Oracle sued Google in 2010 over its use of the Java programming language and software tools. Oracle acquired Java when it purchased Sun Microsystems in 2010.