Google infringed on Oracle copyrights, jury finds, but leaves key question unanswered
Originally published: May 7, 2012
Last updated: May 7, 2012 - 10:15pm
A federal jury found that Google's popular Android mobile software infringes on copyrights held by tech rival Oracle, but it deadlocked on the question of whether Google was excused under the legal concept of "fair use.''
While rejecting some allegations brought by Oracle, the jury found that the code in two files and the structure and design of certain elements in Android, known as Application Programming Interfaces or APIs, were substantially similar to APIs used in Oracle's copyrighted Java programming tools. But jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on Google's argument that using the APIs was justified under a legal concept that permits "fair use'' of short excerpts from a copyrighted work under certain circumstances. That leaves a mixed result in the case: Google's attorney immediately moved for a mistrial on the API question, which is key to the bulk of Oracle's claim for nearly $1 billion in damages. U.S. District Judge William Alsup asked for both sides to file arguments on that motion later this week, but he did not say when he will rule.
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