While the winner of the copyright phase of the intellectual property litigation between Oracle and Google has yet to be decided, Google was the clear winner of the patent phase. After a week of deliberations, the jury concluded that Google’s Android system did not infringe upon Oracle’s patents.
Given that the parties have agreed to postpone the issue of copyright infringement damages, the jury was dismissed. Judge William Alsup thanked the jurors for their service, noting that “this is the longest trial, civil trial, I’ve ever been in.”
Google may ultimately win the copyright phase of the case as well. As we mentioned in last week’s IP litigation update, although the jury found that Google infringed Oracle copyrights by its use of the structure, sequence, and organization of 37 Java APIs, it did not reach a verdict on whether it was considered fair use. It will now be up to Judge Alsup to decide whether the APIs are protected under copyright law.
Even if those claims do not survive, Google still faces two other copyright infringement counts. The jury found that Google had improperly used nine lines of code, and Judge Alsup ruled that Google was also liable for infringement with respect to eight Java Android test files.
With respect to damages, it will depend on how Judge Alsup rules on the Java APIs. Pursuant to an agreement between the parties, if the judge rules that they are not copyrightable, Oracle will receive statutory damages for the two other infringement counts, a maximum of $150,000 per infringement count. If he determines they can be copyrighted, damages for all three infringement counts will be addressed in a new trial or in an appellate court.
There is still much to be decided. So, please stay tuned.
Source: Washington Post
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