Will the Oracle-Google Jury Decide Today? Maybe. Maybe Not.

Published on May 7, 2012
by Arik Hesseldahl

It has now officially been a week since the jury in the Oracle-Google trial over Java heard the final arguments and began their deliberations. They’re back today, and it’s entirely possible that we’ll get a final verdict in the first phase of the case devoted to copyright.

Judge William Alsup is starting to talk about opening arguments for phase two of the trial, which will focus on patents. A third phase, assuming Oracle prevails, will focus on determining damages.

There was a false alarm late Friday when CNET and Bloomberg News reported that a partial verdict had been reached, when in fact it hadn’t. This happened after it became relatively clear that jurors were stuck and unable to agree on all four questions they have been tasked with answering.

Jurors have been asked to decide if Google’s use of 37 sections of Java source code — which Oracle owns, having acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 — constitutes copyright infringement; or if, as Google argues, the copied sections are so insignificant as to amount to “no big deal.

Oracle sued Google in 2010, after closing the Sun deal. Google stands accused of using some parts of Java to create Android without having first obtained the relevant licenses — first from Sun, then from Oracle — that, among other things, required compatibility with other flavors of Java.

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