updated 08:40 pm EDT, Thu May 31, 2012
Google found to not have willfully infringed patents
Judge William Alsup has rejected Oracle's bid to have the jury verdict finding Google to have not infringed on six patent claims overturned in its ongoing legal battle with Google. Alsup's statement, detailing the reasoning behind the denial, argues that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict absolving Google of some patent violation charges. The analysis concedes that an appellate court may find reason for a retrial, but for now, the verdict stands in the current phase of the trial.
Despite the mass confusion last week involving technical terms and definitions of programming maxims, Alsup defended the jury's unanimous decision, stating that "a reasonable jury could still find that Android did not infringe," several times in his 11-page brief and reasoning behind his decision.
Oracle's primary expert witness, Dr. John Mitchell, was called to task by the judge for reversing previous statements, as well as claiming that some statements were "in error" when the testimony was found later to interfere with Oracle's case.
Oracle began the suit in 2010, claiming that Google infringes on core Java patents. Previously, Google proposed a half-percent of Android revenue license on one patent, and a .015 percent royalty on a second patent earlier this year, but Oracle refused the offer. While Google has been found guilty of copying nine lines of code in one subroutine, Judge Alsup used his prior coding experience to verify that the duplicated code would take five minutes to assemble and is not a significant portion of the Android codebase. The jury has had difficultyon multiple occasions coming to a unanimous decision in the complicated case.
Oracle v. Google: Denial of Oracle's JMOL on Patents