Jury Finds For Google On Oracle Patent Claims In California Federal Court

SAN FRANCSICO - (Mealey's) After seven days of deliberation, a California federal jury on May 23 acquitted Google Inc. of patent infringement claims levied by Oracle America Inc. (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 10-3561, N.D. Calif.). 

(Verdict. Document #16-120604-007V.) 

A Google spokesperson confirmed to Mealey's Legal News that U.S. Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California immediately dismissed the jurors from further service, effectively foreclosing a planned trial on damages. 

"Today's jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle's patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem," the spokesperson said. 

Billions Sought 

The same jury largely rejected Oracle's copyright infringement claims against Google in a partial verdict rendered May 7, deeming Google an infringer of just nine lines of software code out of more than 15 million lines present in Android.  Furthermore, while jurors found infringement by Google's use of the structure, sequence and organization (SSO) of the compilable code in 37 Java application programmer interface packages, they could not reach a consensus on the question of fair use.  Whether the SSO is itself entitled to copyright protection will be decided by Judge Alsup at a later time. 

In pretrial motions, Oracle indicated its belief that it was entitled to $1.4 billion to $6.1 billion in damages. 

Software, Devices 

At issue in the instant verdict were allegations that Google willfully infringed claims 11, 27, 29, 39, 40 and 41 of U.S. patent No. RE38,104 and claims 1 and 20 of U.S. patent No. 6,061,520 with the Android Software Development Kit, a set of developmental tools that a programmer can use to develop applications for the Android software platform, as well as with certain Android mobile devices.   

Oracle acquired the patents in suit from Sun Microsystems, an original developer of the Java software platform.  According to its August 2010 complaint, Oracle accused Google of making improper use of Java intellectual property while developing the competing Android. 

Having found no infringement by Google of any of the asserted claims, jurors on May 23 did not reach the question of willfulness. 

Michael A. Jacobs, Marc David Peters and Daniel P. Muino of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco represent Oracle.  Robert A. Van Nest, Steven A. Hirsch and Christa M. Anderson of Keker & Van Nest in San Francisco, Bruce W. Baber of King & Spalding in Atlanta, Scott T. Weingartner of King & Spalding in New York and Ian C. Ballon of Greenberg Traurig in Santa Monica, Calif., represent Google. 

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