Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Jury Absolves Google in Patent Phase of Java Trial vs. Oracle

The Verge and other outlets are reporting from the federal courtroom in San Francisco that a jury deliberating the patent-infringement phases of the Oracle-Google trial over Java has come back in favor of Google. The claim had concerned patents in Java that Oracle had accused Google of infringing when it created the Android operating system.

Bloomberg News is reporting that the jury has been dimissed, and that there will be no third phase of the trial, which was to have focused on damages in the event that Oracle prevailed.

The win for Google in the patent phase comes on top of a narrow but hollow victory for Oracle, in which the enterprise software giant won a part of its argument, but failed to make it stick in a way that would make any difference to either company.

Asked to decide whether Google had infringed upon Oracle’s copyrights to certain parts of the Java programming language, the jury — the same jury that came out in Google’s favor today — agreed that it had. Then asked to decide on four specific examples of that infringement, jurors could agree on only one that cracked the threshold of being sufficiently egregious to warrant any damages. And in that case, the damages amount to no more than $200,000, probably less than it cost to litigate in the first place.

Google shares rose slightly by $2.09 to $602.89 or less than 1 percent. Oracle shares fell slightly by 6 cents to $26.30.

Oracle put out this statement:

Oracle presented overwhelming evidence at trial that Google knew it would fragment and damage Java. 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.

Meanwhile, here’s Google’s statement, which reads like a victory lap:

Today’s jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle’s patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work