May 23, 2012

Jury: Android Does Not Infringe Oracle Patents

Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com

A California jury determined on Wednesday that Google's Android mobile platform does not infringe Oracle's patents.

The decision ends a high-stakes battle fought over the smartphone technology regarding the Android operating system having similarities to Oracle's Javascript.

The jury was unable to unanimously agree on the copyright allegations, which effectively is placing an indefinite hold on Oracle's allegations being upheld.

The jury found earlier that Oracle had proven copyright infringement for parts of Java, but the body of peers could not agree on whether Google could fairly use that material.

Oracle sued the Internet search giant in August 2010, claiming that Android infringed on its intellectual property rights to the programming language.  Google said that it did not violate the patents, and that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java.

Oracle was seeking about $1 billion in copyright damages for Google's use of the copyrighted coding in Android, which is the world's most popular smartphone software.

According to a joint court filing, Google offered to pay Oracle about $2.8 million in damages on the two patents remaining in the case.

Google proposed paying Oracle 0.5 percent of Android revenue on one patent until it expires this December, and a 0.015 percent on a second patent until it expires in April 2018.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup showed during the trial that Android generated about $97.7 million in revenue during the first quarter of 2010.

The jury did conclude that Google infringed on 37 copyrighted application programming interfaces (APIs), but it also agreed that Google demonstrated that it was led to believe it did not need a license for using Java.

During the trial, both Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison and Google chief executive Larry Page took a stand in May, while Android chief Andy Rubin and former Sun Microsystems chief executive Jonathan Schwartz also gave a testimony in recent weeks.


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