Google violated copyright, but no damages: jury

A jury in a high-profile technology case ruled Monday that Google violated copyrights owned by Oracle Corp. for the Android mobile platform, but failed to agree on whether damages should be awarded.

In a partial verdict, jurors were unable to decide on a key point of whether Google's use of copyrighted Java software was "fair use" that made it acceptable.

The verdict prevents any potential for an Oracle windfall, but the case between the two tech titans now moves to another phase on whether Oracle's patents were violated.

"There has been zero finding of liability on any copyright so far," US District Court Judge William Alsup told the rival attorneys after the jury left his San Francisco courtroom.

"The affirmative defense of fair use is still in play."

The jury, which had been struggling to reach a unanimous decision, concluded that Google infringed on the copyrighted programming language for a portion of Java known as RangeCheck. But it also agreed that Google demonstrated that it was led to believe it did not need a license for using Java.

Oracle said it was pleased with the verdict.

"Oracle, the nine million Java developers and the entire Java community thank the jury for their verdict in this phase of the case," a company statement said.

"Every major commercial enterprise -- except Google -- has a license for Java and maintains compatibility to run across all computing platforms."

Oracle attorneys who originally said they would accept whatever damages were dictated by the law regarding that portion of the case switched position and asked for jurors to determine the monetary compensation.

Alsup said, however, that "it borders on the ridiculous to say that with nine lines of code you are going to even get a percentage as damages," in an Android platform with 15 million lines of code.

Oracle accused Google of infringing on Java computer programming language patents and copyrights Oracle obtained when it bought Java inventor Sun Microsystems in a $7.4 billion deal in 2009.

Google has denied the claims and said it believes mobile phone makers and other users of its open-source Android operating system are entitled to use the Java technology in dispute.

The trial is being conducted in separate phases to address copyright and then patent infringement accusations by Oracle.

The Internet titan unveiled the free Android operating system two years before Oracle bought Sun.

Oracle's challenge of Google in court over copyrights was an unusual tactic that being watched intently in Silicon Valley.

In the fast-paced land of Internet innovation, it has been common for software writers to put their own spins on application programming interfaces that mini-programs use to "talk" to one another.

A Google statement said: "We appreciate the jury's efforts, and know that fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin. The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that's for the court to decide. We expect to prevail on this issue and Oracle's other claims."

Alsup called the jury back into the courtroom to commence a second phase of the trial devoted to whether Google violated Java patents.

Jurors were shown video explaining patents. While copyright applies to written works such as songs, a patent was described as being on par with a property deed issued to inventors giving them rights to defend creations.

Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs said fair use is not a defense in patent infringement. He said the company will show Google improperly used the Java patents which speed up the processing for computers or mobile devices.

"These patents are about making phones run fast," he told the jurors.

Google will present its statement to the jury Tuesday. Part of the Google defense is that Oracle couldn't figure out a way into the smartphone market and is thus trying to leech off of Android's success by pressing claims regarding Java software that Sun made publicly available.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR, BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early 70s …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during one …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …

  • Miriam pushes tougher graft law
    Miriam pushes tougher graft law

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill that would make public officials liable for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act even if they are elected to a fresh term or a new position. In filing Senate Bill 2716, Santiago sought to address what she said was the doctrine of condonation in Philippine jurisprudence brought about by the 2010 case of Salumbides vs. Ombudsman. “By merely asserting the doctrine of condonation, erring elective officials are automatically given a …

  • Phl hits back at China over sea infra work
    Phl hits back at China over sea infra work

    The Philippines assailed China yesterday for contesting Manila’s planned repair and maintenance works on some islands in the West Philippine Sea, saying they are “in no way comparable” to the Asian power’s massive reclamation activities which are in violation of international laws. “The Philippines’ possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea, over which the Philippines rightfully exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options