US jury decides Google’s Android infringes Oracle’s Java copyright

8 May 2012

The US jury in the high-profile copyright battle between Google and Oracle has decided Google’s Android operating system infringes Oracle’s rights to Java.

The verdict is the first in a three-part trial. Google is understood to have already requested a mistrial.

The key question is whether the Java APIs are covered under copyright protection laws. The jury appears to have been deadlocked on the matter and the presiding judge, William Alsup, has yet to rule on whether the Java APIs are subject to copyright protection under US law.

Oracle is seeking US$1bn in damages and a possible injunction, alleging Google stole parts of the Java software to build the Android mobile operating system.

Oracle acquired the ownership of the Java platform in 2010 when it bought Sun Microsystems for US$7.4bn.

The copyright infringement case against Google covers 37 different copyrights now owned by Oracle.

The patent element of the high-profile case will focus on two patents now owned by Oracle.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years