Jury Finds Google Android Infringes Oracle’s Java Copyrights

Posted May 8, 2012

A U.S. jury has found that Google Android is infringing on Oracle’s Java API copyrights. This gives Oracle a partial victory in the first part of a three-part trial against Google. The jury at a U.S. District Court in San Francisco was asked four questions about copyrights in Java code that is being used in Android.

The jury reached a unanimous decision on three issues, but they hit a deadline on part of the first question regarding infringement. The jury was unable to decide whether Google’s use of Java APIs amount to Fair Use under U.S. copyright law. Judge William Alsup has to rule on whether the Java APIs at issue are subject to copyright protection as a matter of law.

“We appreciate the jury’s efforts, and know that fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin. The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that’s for the court to decide. We expect to prevail on this issue and Oracle’s other claims,” said Google and they are requesting a mistrial.

Oracle thanked the jury for their verdict. “The overwhelming evidence demonstrated that Google knew it needed a license and that its unauthorized fork of Java in Android shattered Java’s central write once run anywhere principle.”

Despite this victory, Oracle is unlikely going to win substantial damages in this case. The trial between Oracle and Google is expected to go on for another eight weeks.