Victory for Google in Android patent case

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Jurors have sided with Google in its long-running patent battle with Oracle, saying Android doesn't infringe on Oracle patents.

Earlier this month, a judge ruled that Google was infringing certain Oracle copyrights, but failed to reach agreement over whether this amounted to 'fair use'.

Now, Oracle's parallel patent suit has come to court, and the company's had even less success, with the vote split 9-3 in favor of Google. The company's calling the decision 'a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem'.

Oracle's issued a statement about the verdict, implying it may plan to appeal.

"Oracle presented overwhelming evidence at trial that Google knew it would fragment and damage Java," it reads.

"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."

And James Gosling, one of the original Java team at Sun, is even more bitter about the decision.

"Court cases are never about right and wrong, they're about the law and what you can convince a jury of," he writes.

"For those of us at Sun who felt trampled-on and abused by Google's callous self-righteousness, I would have preferred a different outcome - not from the court case as much as from events of years past."

Judge William Alsup is set to make a decision on the copyright fair use issue some time in the next week; but if he orders damages, they're unlikely to amount to much.

He noted that it was the longest civil trial he'd ever been part of; and it's not all over yet.

"Going forward, the attention will again shift to copyright, with Judge Alsup working hard on his decision on the copyrightability of the structure, sequence and organization of the 37 asserted Java APIs," says patent expert Florian Mueller.