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Jury partial verdict: Google infringed Oracle copyrights

updated 06:00 pm EDT, Mon May 7, 2012

No decision on fair use, trial continues

The jury assigned to the Oracle versus Google lawsuit has returned a partial verdict. On the matter of API copyright infringement, Google has been found to have violated the sequence, structure, and organization of 37 Java API copyrights. However, whether or not the infringement was fair use remains to be decided, as the jury was unable to break through a previously reported impasse on the matter. Judge Alsop is not waiting for motions from either side, and is immediately moving forward with the next phase, the patent phase, of the trial.

Google's legal team immediately declared intent to file for a mistrial, based on their stance that the infringement can't be answered affirmatively without a ruling on the matter of fair use, or if APIs are copyrightable. Both Google and Oracle are required to respond to various copyright questions no later than May 10. Oracle has already requested a judgement as a matter of law against the fair use argument. Google's stance remains that the Java code in question was utilized fairly, and also requests a dismissal as a matter of law.

Closing arguments for the first phase of Oracle vs Google took place on April 27. The core of Oracle's argument is the repeated re-use of Oracle copyrighted code. Google is claiming a "fair use" defense versus the infringement claims. Oracle is demanding $2 billion in Java licensing fees for Android, but have been instructed to request less. Judge Alsop read documents from Google last week in court that prove that the Android division is losing money.

by MacNN Staff



  1. UmarOMC

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They started something mutual that was supposed to be "open" regarding Java. Companies like Microsoft should be faulted for developing proprietary Java APIs which go against what Java is supposed to be, forgive me if I'm wrong; a universal platform for programs to run on independent of the host OS, albeit a tad slower.

  1. fractaledge

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You are absolutely right. The most important feature of Java is the so called Write Once Run Anywhere (WORA). A program written in Java should run on any platform that supports Java. But Java programs do not run on Google's bastardised version of Java, and neither will programs developed for the Google platform run on other platforms that run Java, completely defeating WORA.

  1. RoboBobo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    WORA doesn't exist

    First you claim Android is Java, then in the next breadth you claim it doesn't run java programs.

    Which means it isn't java.

    Since people are too tied up to one position on Android, lets talk about another supposed WORA platform - HTML5.

    If you think you can write an HTML5 app and it'll run anywhere - guess again.
    The fact is, there is nothing a language can do, to change the fact that the experience is different.

    You have to write a user experience for a large desktop / mouse driven, and another for a large tablet/ touch driven, and and yet another for a touch screen small screen phone and yet another for a no-touch feature phone.

    There is nothing the language can do to solve that.

    Back to JAVA - it's not WORA and has never been. But in the old days before everyone knew that and it became obvious, people did have a thing called applets in the desktop browser - and THAT never worked.

    What has ended up working - is pairing java down to its finally a server side language running on various unixes that are almost exactly the same and are handling server side logic - not nuances of user interfaces.

    You call can cut the c***, java was shaken out of its main use - applets in the browser a long time ago and that had nothing to do with Android.

    Frankly it was losing ground in phones and that had nothing to do with Android. All android did, was keep java, as a language relevant. yes, the language syntax is there.

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