Jury says Google didn’t infringe Oracle’s patent

Oracle said Google’s Android violated its IP

A California jury has decided that Google Inc.’s Android mobile platform does not infringe Oracle Corp.’s patents.

In the case that dates back to 2010, Oracle claimed that Google’s Android technology violated the intellectual property rights Oracle held to the Java programming language. Google fought back, saying Oracle couldn’t copyright certain parts of Java, which is an open-source software. Yesterday, a California jury agreed with Google.

Earlier this month, the jury found that Google did use Oracle’s Java interfaces when developing its Android mobile phone systems, but at the time, it could not decide whether that fell under the fair-use doctrine.

Cozen O’Connor Partner David Sunshine told Thomson Reuters that Oracle stood to gain huge payouts had it won the case, given the growing market for Android devices. “It’s a huge blow,” he said.

An Oracle spokeswoman said the company plans to continue to defend and uphold Java’s unique functionality. But for now, Google is pleased with the outcome.

"We didn't want to back down when we felt the facts were on our side," Google GC Kent Walker told Reuters.

Next up for Oracle? The company heads back to court next week to fight it out with Hewlett-Packard Co. over HP’s Itanium processor. 

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Cathleen Flahardy

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