In what was unlikely to surprise those paying attention, and as predicted by AndroidNZ two weeks ago, Oracle’s attempt to extort six billion dollars from Google over Android’s supposed infringement of Java patents has been rejected by the jury in the long-running case.
As a result, there will be no penalty phase in the trial, and Oracle will have to resort to appeal to try to salvage something from a litigation that must surely have already cost the company many hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, perhaps millions.
In a prior judgement of this same action, Oracle won a narrow but likely meaningless victory, the jury finding a limited infringement of Oracle’s copyright over certain APIs. However, there is very real doubt that copyright applies to such software functions. The jury's inability to agree on a verdict, with 9 jurors favouring Google, 3 favouring Oracle, means the Judge will reserve that decision for himself with a ruling due one way or another in the next few days.
Even if the judge rules in favour of Oracle, the penalty imposed on Google would likely be between $50,000 and $150,000 US for each breach, with law-savvy pundits expecting that the best case for Oracle would be it being awarded ~$200,000 US in total.
Regardless of any appeal action Oracle may take, this cannot be seen as other than a big win for Google and Android. Unless of course you’re Florian Mueller, notable anti-Android patent junkie contractor to Oracle and Microsoft, and fawning Applephile, who has chosen to spin the decision as something of a miscarriage of justice.
It’s also unlikely to have warmed the hearts of Apple’s legendary fanbase who have been waiting with fevered anticipation for Google and Android to be crushed, in keeping with Steve Jobs’ promise of destroying Android and threatening “thermonuclear” war against the little green robot.
Sucks to be them, then.
Source: The Verge