Jury Retires To Decide On Google-Oracle Copyright

The first phase of the Google-Oracle trial has come to a close, with the jury retiring to weigh up the evidence on whether Google has trampled on Oracle's toes in terms of copyright.

The trial, which is set to run over this month and probably into June, consists of three phases - the first concerning copyright in the Android-Java spat, and the second patent infringement issues. The final part of the trial will weigh any damages Oracle is due, which could potentially be a billion dollars.

Closing arguments were delivered by both legal teams on Monday, and the jury retired yesterday evening our time. A judgement could potentially be made today, but it's likely that the process will take several days of deliberation. Our money's on tomorrow for the big revelation.

This particular judgement is seen as important as it's the strongest part of Oracle's argument, so if the jury fails to find in the company's favour here, it's likely that Google is going to be relatively in the clear.

Oracle has built a number of key points of its case on internal Google emails, which the company has argued show the search giant knew it had to obtain a license from Oracle in order to use Java APIs in the Android operating system.

Google, however, claims it made "fair use" of the APIs, and whether or not this is the case is the crucial matter for the jurors to decide.

Google has also cited Sun's public statements about Java, which the firm argues led it to believe it wouldn't need a license to use the technology, including a blog post by Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz which congratulated the company on the launch of Android.

Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs told the jury: "Google's a big company, they know business isn't done by blog posts."

All twelve jurors must agree that Oracle has proved its case for the company to be victorious in this phase of the trial.

Source: Computerworld UK