A jury said Google Inc., the largest Web-search provider, infringed copyrights for Oracle Corp.’s technology in developing Android software running on more than 300 million mobile devices, while jurors couldn’t decide unanimously whether Google made “fair use” of the intellectual property.
The 12-member panel announced the verdict Monday in federal court in San Francisco, with jurors telling the judge they were at an impasse over one question. The three-part case is over Oracle’s Java programming language used to develop Google’s Android software running on more than 300 million mobile devices.
The decision came in the copyright phase of an eight-week intellectual-property trial that began April 16 and next will shift to Oracle’s claims of patent infringement.
A third phase, on damages, will follow the other two.
Oracle alleged that Google, based in Mountain View, California, stole copyrights and patents for the Java language when it developed the Android operating systems for mobile devices, which were released in 2007. Oracle acquired Java when it bought Java-developer Sun Microsystems Inc. in 2010.
Java is a free language. Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, argued that the parts of Java that Google used are covered by copyrights and that the search engine company was required to pay for a license to use the technology.
Google denied infringement, saying it developed Android from scratch and that the Java elements it used aren’t covered by copyrights. Any bits of copied Java in Android were fair and legal to use, Google told the jury.
The next phase of the case is about two Java patents Oracle alleges were infringed.
The case is Oracle v. Google, 10-3561, U.S. District Court, San Francisco.
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