Oracle v. Google Verdict: No Patent Infringement

A federal jury ruled unanimously on Wednesday that Google did not infringe on Oracle's Java-related patents when it developed its Android operating system. The 10-person jury serving in Federal District Court in San Francisco delivered its verdict after more than a week of deliberations following a six-week trial.

Oracle had alleged that Google infringed on Java-related patents and copyrights when it developed Android. The jury delivered a partial verdict on May 7 during the first phase of the trial, holding that Google had infringed on Oracle's copyrights in its use of Java APIs, but deadlocked on whether that infringement could be considered "fair use."

After Wednesday's verdict concluded the second phase of the trial, U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed the jurors and canceled the third phase of the trial, which would have determined damages. Alsup said he may issue a ruling next week on the knotty question of whether API's can be copyrighted. (See "Oracle vs. Google: 5 Top Analysts Weigh In on API Implications for Devs and Startups.")

Google's post-verdict statement was succinct: "Today's jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle's patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem."

Oracle spokesperson Deborah Hellinger issued a statement via e-mail for her company: "Oracle presented overwhelming evidence at trial that Google knew it would fragment and damage Java. 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."

You can see the actual court document here.


About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].