Oracle v. Google IP Lawsuit: Who Won the First Round?

by Sheldon Mak & Anderson on May 22, 2012

copyright attorney CaliforniaWhile the jury delivered a partial verdict in the copyright infringement phase of the Oracle v. Google trial, there is arguably still no clear winner. Because the jury did not decide the issue of fair use, Google is seeking a mistrial.

The jury ruled that Google’s Android operating system infringed upon Oracle's Java software platform, but it failed to reach a decision on whether Google’s use of the 37 Java APIs constituted protected fair use. U.S. District Judge William Alsup had instructed the jury before deliberations that the two issues were “indivisible.”

In light of the split verdict, Google’s attorneys filed a motion for mistrial. “Under settled Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit law, the jury's failure to reach a verdict concerning both halves of this indivisible question requires a new trial concerning both questions," the motion states, as reported by Courthouse News. "To accept the infringement verdict as binding on the parties and retry only fair use would violate both the unanimity requirement and the Reexamination Clause of the Seventh Amendment," it continues.

While he did hear arguments from both sides, it is unclear when Judge Alsup will rule on the issue. Google and Oracle are currently litigating the patent infringement phase of the case.

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