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Jury finds for Oracle on a copyright claim, Google seeks mistrial

May 07, 2012|By Jessica Guynn
  • Google Chairman Eric Schmidt leaving a federal court in San Francisco last month.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt leaving a federal court in San Francisco last… (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg )

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google is asking a judge to declare a mistrial after a federal jury in San Francisco rendered a split decision: the panel  ruled against the company in Oracle’s copyright case over the search giant’s popular Android mobile software but reaching an impasse on a key issue.

The jury found for Oracle in the largest claim, but could not decide if Google's use of the copyrights was legally protected as “fair use.” Google prevailed on two other claims.

Oracle has accused Google of stealing some of its Java technology to build Android. Oracle got control of the programming language when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010. Google says it only used parts of Java that are free to use.

“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,” Google said in a statement.

Oracle, in a statement, praised the jury's verdict that favored the company.

"Oracle, the 9 million Java developers, and the entire Java community thank the jury for their verdict in this phase of the case. 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.  Every major commercial enterprise -- except Google -- has a license for Java and maintains compatibility to run across all computing platforms."


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