Jury discussions will resume May 2 at the federal courthouse in San Francisco. When a decision is reached, the patent phase of the trial will begin immediately.
The 12-person jury continued in its second day of deliberations for several
hours May 1 without resolution in the first phase of the potential landmark Oracle
v. Google copyright infringement lawsuit.
The jury discussions will resume at 8 a.m. May 2 at the federal courthouse
in San Francisco.
In the copyright and patent trial that began April 16 and Oracle originally
brought in August 2010, Oracle is charging Google with stealing parts of its
Java software suite to help build its highly successful Android mobile device
Oracle is seeking about $1 billion in damages and a possible injunction
against Google using the software.
Oracle Seeking to Protect Its Sun IP
Oracle became the maintainer of the open-source Java platform in January 2010
as part of its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
Google has contended that it used freely available parts of the Java package
that aren't protected by copyright and have been available for download to any
software developer since November 2006, when Sun released the IP to the open-source
community after holding it as proprietary for 11 years.
Android, released in 2008 by Google to partners such as Samsung, HTC and
other manufacturers for smartphones and tablet PCs, now runs more than 300 million
When the jury reaches a decision about the copyright infringement part of
the casewhich involves 37 copyrights held by Oraclethe patent portion of the
case will begin immediately, Judge William Alsup has said. Two patents are set
to come under consideration.
Background on the Case
Ostensibly, there is confusion about which parts of the open-source Java
code are free and downloadable and which are licensable, and this court case
stands to become a landmark in making that distinction. In fact, it could well
impact the entire software industry.
While the Java language itself belongs to the open-source community and is
free of charge to use, it still must be licensed for commercial deployments
under the GNU Public License. The application programming interfaces of Java
may be another matter, since APIs are made up of software, specifications and
Oracle claims in the lawsuit that the "specifications and
implementations of the APIs are not a method of operation or system."
Oracle CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison testified April 17 that "Google
is the only company I know that hasn't taken a license for Java ... I met with
[former Google CEO, now Executive Chairman] Eric Schmidt in 2010 to discuss a
joint project in which Google would use Oracle's version of Java in its Android
software for smartphones rather than their own version of Java."
Chris Preimesberger is Editor of eWEEK Features and Analysis and writes
the Storage Station blog.