Jury deals big blow to Oracle in Android case versus Google

Wed May 23, 2012 10:55pm EDT
 
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By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's Android mobile platform has not infringed Oracle Corp's patents, a California jury decided, putting an indefinite hold on Oracle's quest for damages in a fight between the two Silicon Valley giants over smartphone technology.

In a case that examined whether computer language that connects programs and operating systems can be copyrighted, Oracle claimed Google's Android tramples on its intellectual property rights to the Java programming language.

Google argued it did not violate Oracle's patents and that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java, an "open-source" or publicly available software language.

In addition to finding for Google on patents, the jury foreman told reporters that the final vote on a key copyright issue earlier in the case had heavily favored Google.

David Sunshine, a New York-based intellectual property lawyer who advises hedge funds, said the outcome of the Google trial was humbling for Oracle, which had it won, could have gained handsome payouts given the growing market for Android devices.

"It's a huge blow," Sunshine said.

For Oracle and its aggressive CEO Larry Ellison, the trial against Google over Java was the first of several scheduled this year against large competitors. Another trial is set to begin next week between Oracle and Hewlett-Packard Co over the Itanium microprocessor.

The verdict was delivered on Wednesday in a San Francisco federal court.   Continued...

 
People visit Google's stand at the National Retail Federation Annual Convention and Expo in New York January 16, 2012. REUTERS/ Kena Betancur