Google Android Didn't Infringe Oracle Patents, Jury Says
May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., the largest Web search provider, didn't infringe Oracle Corp.'s patents in developing Android software, a federal jury found in the second phase of an intellectual property trial in San Francisco.
The 10-person jury ruled unanimously today that neither of the two patents at issue was infringed. Immediately after the verdict was announced, the judge dismissed the jury from the case and canceled the third phase of the trial over damages.
Oracle, the largest maker of database software, alleged Google stole two patents for the Java programming language when it developed Android, which now runs on more than 300 million smartphones. In the first phase of the trial, the same jury found the search engine company infringed Oracle's Java copyrights while it couldn't agree on whether the copying was "fair use."
"Today's jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle's patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem," Catherine Lacavera, Google's director of litigation, said in an e-mailed statement.
Google and Oracle's experts had estimated damages for both patents at $3 million to $4 million if the jury found infringement.
"Oracle presented overwhelming evidence at trial that Google knew it would fragment and damage Java," Deborah Hellinger, a spokeswoman for Oracle, said in an e-mail after the verdict. "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."
U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who presided over the trial, said he may issue a ruling next on whether Oracle's Java application programming interfaces, software tools at the heart of the case, can be copyrighted. A ruling that they aren't would be another blow to Oracle.
Alsup must also still rule on Oracle's motion for a patent- infringement judgment in its favor based on the evidence and on Mountain View, California-based Google's request for a new trial on whether it infringed Java copyrights.
Without any verdict on fair use of the copyrights, Redwood City, California-based Oracle is prevented from seeking $1 billion in damages.
Google rose $1.62 to $602.42 at 2:35 p.m. in New York trading after spiking as much as 0.7 percent when the verdict was announced. Oracle climbed 1 cent to $26.37.
The case is Oracle v. Google, 10-3561, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
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