Oracle has taken another blow in its lawsuit against Google over Android, an even bigger one than before. The jury found that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents with Android.This, combined with the fact that the jury only found that Google infringed on Oracle's copyright in a very small way, makes the lawsuit a great victory for Google, though it's not quite over yet.
Of course, there will be an appeal and an appeal to the appeal, so don't think that this is over any time soon.
But it does mean that Google can breathe easier for a while and it may even help it take on other patent trolls, Microsoft for example, more successfully.
That's if Google has gotten the courage enough to fight, so far it just stood around and watched as its partners were dragged through court or forced to pay "royalties" to Microsoft for using Android.
In the second phase of the trial, the jury found that Google did not infringe on the two Oracle patents that made it this far.
The judge then dismissed the jury and canceled the third phase of the trial that concerned damages, if any. Since Google did not infringe, there can be no talk of damages.
Previously, the jury found that Google did infringe on Oracle's Java copyright, but only in a small manner. What's more, the jury could not decide if the infringement was fair use, making the decision moot.
The jury was instructed to assume that Java's APIs could be copyrighted, but the judge still has to decide on the matter.
Even if he does decide that they can be copyrighted, the jury wasn't able to determine whether this was fair use or not, so a new trial is coming.
The jury did find that Google copied some code that was not part of the API too. It's a small portion and Oracle will only get statutory damages for this, a maximum of $150,000. Google and Oracle reached a settlement agreeing to postpone talk of damages.
Oracle agreed because it believes it is entitled to much more than that so it wavered the statutory damages and hopes to get a bigger cut if the judge decides Google copied its APIs. Google wants the copyright matter settled in another trial.
The judge warned Oracle that going this way might mean that Oracle doesn't get anything. But the sum is pocket change for both companies and barely enough to cover the legal expenses for a day or two of trial.