Google-Oracle jury reaches impasse on key issue

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal jury in San Francisco has reached an impasse on a key issue in Oracle's copyright-infringement case against Google, handing the database-software company a major setback.

Oracle had been seeking up to $1 billion in damages on copyright claims after alleging that Google Inc. built its popular Android mobile software by stealing some of the technology from Java, a programming platform that Oracle Corp. bought two years ago.

In delivering a partial verdict Monday, the jury found that Google infringed on the largest of Oracle's claims, but it couldn't agree on whether Google's use was legally protected "fair use." Without that determination, it will be difficult for Oracle to win major damages.

The jury also found that Google infringed on Oracle's copyright on nine lines of Java code that is in Android, but Oracle can only go after statutory damages on that one. Those damages can range from $200 to $150,000.

Google is moving for a mistrial. Google prevailed on other claims.

Google has argued that it only used parts of Java that have always been freely available.

The same jury will now hear evidence in the next phase of the trial, covering Oracle's allegations that Android violates two Java patents. Those claims are believed to be worth considerably less to Oracle than the hundreds of millions of dollars in damages that it had hoped to extract from Google had it prevailed on all of its all of its allegations of copyright infringement.

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