Jury finds Google infringed on some Oracle Java copyrights

“A Northern California jury on Monday found that Google Inc infringed upon Oracle Corp’s copyrights on the structure of part of the Java software programming language, in a high stakes trial over smartphone technology,” Malathi Nayak reports for Reuters.

“However, the jury failed to decide after days of deliberation whether Google had the right to fair use of that copyrighted structure,” Nayak reports. “Despite finding Google infringed upon some of Oracle’s copyrights, the lack of a clear, full decision may represent a setback for Oracle. The U.S. software company is trying to prove the Internet search leader did not have a right to fair use of Java’s structural and organizational elements.”

Nayak reports, “Google’s lawyers challenged the key jury decision on Java copyrights after the Monday verdict, moving for a mistrial… The seven woman, five man jury will begin hearing evidence on Oracle’s patents after rendering the copyright verdict. A third phase to decide damages would come after the patent testimony.”

Read more in the full article here.

John Letzing reports for The Wall Street Journal, “The judge overseeing the case indicated Oracle would only be entitled to statutory damages as a result, and not a portion of Google’s profits. The size of potential statutory damages in the case wasn’t immediately clear, though they are generally expected to be less than $100,000—or a fraction of the roughly $1 billion Oracle has said it is entitled to for the total amount of copyright and patent infringement alleged in the case.”

“Oracle has said in the past it believes it is owed billions of dollars in damages, and may seek an injunction blocking the sale of devices built on Android,” Letzing reports. “While Android is provided for free to phone and tablet makers, it provides Google with significant leverage in the increasingly important mobile-device market. The technology has grown to become the most popular smartphone software platform in the world.”

Letzing reports, “After the jury read its verdict, an Oracle attorney suggested the business software giant should yet be entitled to more than just statutory damages as a result of copyright infringement, and should receive a share of Google’s profits. Judge William Alsup countered that the suggestion, based on the minimal amount of Java code infringed, ‘borders on the ridiculous.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Crime pays.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Lynn Weiler” and “Smiling Fandroid Hater” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Oracle: Google execs ‘knew this day would come’ – April 30, 2012
Steve Jobs’ revenge from Oracle vs. Google – April 19, 2012
Oracle’s slideshow alleging how Google copied Java – April 18, 2012


  1. If Google gets away with this, it does set a precedent. I guess it means I can copy everyone… even use their source code… make money from it and I’m not even in the wrong. People are stupid and I might as well *legally steal* using that loophole of stupidity.

    Anyone out here have some good ideas that I can use, regardless of your patents? Please post below. Thanks!


  2. As I posted earlier (yes, I’m being a hit-whore today), if Google wins, so does mediocrity.


    Android will continue. The phones will probably continue to be a runaway success. Their tablets, however, are garbage. Since there’s absolutely no price break, why pay the same amount for a system that, while technically has better hardware (better CPU, more RAM), functions like a C64? Oh… that’s not right. I love my C64 (emulators). 😀

    1. Better CPU, more RAM but still outperformed by iPhone with it’s much more efficient operating system.

      You Fandroids and your tech specs, performance is king. Two hour battery life and sluggish performance do not a better smartphone make.

  3. Since the last security breach within Java, that caused so much panic about Mac security, I am not very much into Java anymore. Since I deactivated it completely, I only realized one opportunity where I missed it… the upload window for the arrive ! That’s it!

    Concerning Google, we all know very well, the business model of Google is kind of stealing.
    From the beginning they where only using the search results to build their company value, a value build on displaying the web in a sort of logic order, listed… meanwhile bugging us all with their ads, trying to make their ad customers believe they can boost sales for them…

    Well, it’s no surprise they are left behind concerning the market value, even if they seeking all advantages of their business model…

    They have stolen some core functions from Java to build their really not so bad android (but beware, there are more the 5000 malware apps around)… and they knew it is going to be a patent war about it.

    google is truly the big brother watching all of us on the web, just like facebook is.

    I am using Safari only together with “Cookies” plugin to avoid major damage. And of course Click to Flash, while Java is deactivated (at least until it is secure again, just like the Mac is)

    Cut it short: Adblock is mandatory, Cookies Plugin as well, Click to Flash is what I recommend !

    And most of all: Log off before you search on Google or they sell your data soon just like facebook does !

  4. To ask a non-technically oriented jury to understand and opine on the complex nature of this problem seems a major disservice to anyone who creates legitimate software work product and seeks to protect it.

    1. There’s something far worse than a non-technically oriented jury opining on technical stuff:

      Non-technically oriented LAWMAKERS creating laws that interfere with legitimate tech development.

  5. Once you become successful enough, laws become meaningless. The empire created on theft will never be taken away – just a couple of meaningless fines to feign justice. See MSFT, GOOG.

    I have to admit, it’s a great business strategy, though completely devoid of morals and ethics.

  6. These kinds of cases should not be left in the hands of average citizens who have little to no knowledge of patent laws. Patent litigation should be left to judges who are educated in these matters. Or does that make too much sense?

  7. I think it’s time all companies massively write down the patents they hold. If the courts will not punish patent thieves then patents are clearly worth less money on the books than currently assumed.

  8. I think everyone in the industry with the exception of the Oracle paid shill Florian Mueller saw this for what it really was.

    Oracle would have a case if sun had not open sourced java imho. With the Open JDK and Apache Harmony project Google was within their rights to fork the source. It happens all the time, hell its how Apple created a little thing called Webkit and there is nothing illegal about it if the creator of a work licenses their source under that model.

    Oracle’s claims of google copying code were funny, one of their ‘copied’ routines was something a high school programming student could produce and the other was actually submitted to the OpenJDK by a freakin’ google employee.

    Oracles show was a joke and I’m not shocked at the way things are turning out one bit.

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