A jury yesterday determined that Google infringed on Oracle’s Java copyrights with the Android OS but they were unable to come to a unanimous decision whether Google’s infringement was protected by fair use laws.
The ruling has been called a partial victory for Oracle but it is likely that there will be a longer wait to see whether Google will be held liable for the infringement. Google intends to file for a mistrial, saying that the copyright infringement and fair use matters should be decided by the same jury, so a retrial on the copyright infringement issues is not out of the question.
Following the jury’s ruling, the case has moved on to the second, patent portion of the legal action which will be followed by the determination of damages owed to Oracle, if any.
Google said in a statement, “We appreciate the jury’s efforts and know that fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin. The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that’s for the court to decide. We expect to prevail on this issue and Oracle’s other claims.”
Oracle also commented, saying, “The overwhelming evidence demonstrated that Google knew it needed a license and that its unauthorized fork of Java in Android shattered Java’s central write once run anywhere principle.”