Jury clears Google of infringing on Oracle patents

Jury clears Google of infringing on Oracle patents

Summary: A jury has found that Google did not infringe upon Oracle's patents.

TOPICS: Google, Legal, Oracle

SAN FRANCISCO -- A jury today unanimously decided that Google did not infringe on two of Oracle's patents.

In a unanimous decision at the U.S. District Court of Northern California this morning, the jury in the trial said Google did not infringe on six claims in ">U.S. Patent RE38,104 as well as two claims in U.S. Patent number 6,061,520.

The verdict is a win for Google, and marks the end of the trial's second phase, which focused on the claims of patent infringement. Closing arguments in the case were made last week.

Following the verdict, Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern California dismissed the jurors, while noting that it was the longest civil trial he had been a part of. Alsup also noted that he'd be deciding in a related copyright issue within the case next week.

Today's proceedings began much like they did earlier in the week, with a technical question from the jury about an Oracle patent.

In particular, the jury wanted to know the legal interpretation of the words "simulating execution of the code," made within U.S. Patent No. 6,061,520, one of seven Oracle patents named in the original suit that covers "method and system for performing static initialization."

Judge Alsup asked Oracle's counsel to answer that question, which led to Oracle's counsel asking for a five minute huddle with Google's legal team to hammer out an answer.

When Judge Alsup returned, the two sides suggested that the jury might have been referring to one of two claims made within different sections of the patent. Alsup concurred, and brought the jury back into the courtroom to lay out how the question could reference either claim 1 or claim 20 from the patent, and how it needed to be more specific when asking such questions, adding that he wasn't "100 percent sure" he had answered their original query.

Nonetheless, Judge Alsup said that the jury was "right on target" for asking the meaning of the phrase because it was a legal question. He then sent the jury back to deliberations and said they were welcome to submit additional queries. A verdict arrived approximately a half an hour later.

The questions were the latest from jurors about the linguistical complexity found in Oracle's patents. Earlier this week, jurors asked similar technical question about U.S. Patent No. RE38,104, and before that it was terminology and differences in U.S. Patent No. 6,061,520. That included a re-reading of transcripts of court testimony.

Oracle sued Google in 2010, alleging that Google's Android operating system infringed on a Java patent acquired with the purchase of Sun Microsystems. Google responded by claiming the Android team was unaware of Sun's patents ahead of the suit, and that its OS was free to use.

The proceedings will resume on Tuesday morning next week, following a break for the Memorial Day holiday.

Related stories

Oracle v. Google jury still stuck on understanding patent claims

Oracle v. Google jury stumbling over tech terminology, illness

Judge warns Oracle could end up with nothing in IP trial

Oracle might only receive $150,000 in damages from Google

Android chief called back in Oracle-Google trial to discuss patents

Google points to Sun's SEC filings to defend previous testimony

Android chief says he didn't know about Sun's patent portfolio

About Josh Lowensohn

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and covers everything Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about new Web startups, video games, and remote-controlled robots that watch your house.

Topics: Google, Legal, Oracle

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  • The Judge also ordered Google

    The Judge also ordered Google to send 1 can of pop, 1 bag of Prime Salted Peanuts to Oracle for the 9 lines of code Google copied from Java test files.
    • RE: Judges `Award`

      More likely, the Google legal team wanted to send Oracle a case of used toilet paper.
  • Lawyers still win

    Regardless of what ultimately happens, the lawyers are getting fat paychecks from both Oracle and Google. Ellison can afford to harass Android anyway.

    It should be interesting to see how Florian Mueller tries to spin this...
    • Muller is going to argue Google's 150k damages

      are really really big and it shows how Android is bad.
      • FM is still spreading FUD

        like the litigation is not over and that Oracle can still appeal:
        But we know better. It's over! Foss won.
        The Linux Geek
      • Fair Use trail

        @LinuxGeek if you actually read the blog that you just linked to, you'd see that Google is far from in the clear. They were already found guilty of copyright infringement and a new trial over "Fair Use" will be scheduled. It's not very likely that they will win on the Fair Use argument.
      • @ cmoya

        @ cmoya - I'm not sure you have been following this too well. The fair use trial may not happen at all if the the Judge decides as a matter of law that API SSO is not copyrightable. They were found guilty of copying the nine lines...that and a dollar should get them a cup of coffee.
      • @Linux Geek

        On the subject of that idiot Florian Muller you and I are in complete agreement. I do not understand ZDNet's propensity to use him as if he's some credible source when he is full of hot air and BS.
      • Damages

        Good thing it's not like the mp3 download trials going on. It would be $150k per phone.
    • RE: Lawyers still win

      Without question, the [b]only winners[/b] were the lawyers.

      If Eli$on, et al get only [i]peanuts[/i] (i.e. a very small award); then I seriously hope that the stockholders [b]take it(1) out of their(2) hides[/b]. I wonder how long will it take for the stockholders to dump the BOD.

      (1) the costs incurred in this legal battle
      (2) Eli$on, et al
      • Not true

        Big companies with patent portfolios are also winner, including Oracle.

        They've again demonstrated the use of patents procedings to intimidate competitors.

        Today's patent system, even when you lose you win;-)
        Richard Flude
      • @Flude - "intimidate competitors" - what?

        They lost outright and their patents were worthless. I guess I'm just trying to say I don't really get your point?
      • @Traxxion

        You could argue that seeing the proceedings would scare off any startup companies, which would not have the financial means to defend themselves against a suit like this, from doing anything remotely close to an existing patent. And as broad and ridiculous as many patents are, that would essentially mean no startups can become competitors of the big companies.
  • Fire those lawyers Oracle...

    And start writing some code for Christ's sake.
    • It's in the interview...

      Larry " can you do code?" Ans: "nope"
      Larry "Can you litigate?" Ans: "yup"
      Larry "You're hired! You start with the Android Annoyance Division on Monday. Welcome aboard!" "NEXT!"
  • I told you so!

    I was right! Oracle had no case and the jury confirmed it.
    Oracle will soon lose the copyright part too!
    The FOSS is invincible!
    The Linux Geek
    • Yes Sir you were right all along.

      Not only that all those dumb asses were wrong. Have a beer on me.
    • Interesting.

      Your post brings to mind that old saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

      However I do hope that this is then end of it and Oracle let's this go.
      • Admission of Guilt

        This isn't the end - Oracle doesn't have much else going for them so I fear they will fight this to the bitter end. Bad for both companies - good for both attorneys. Google is guilty and basically admitted it (claimed software engineers didn't know about patent). So give Oracle 80% of the revenue from the use of the code in question - oh wait, that would be $0 since Android is free and open source. Better yet, give the attorneys a percentage of the judgement too ;)
      • @WSiaB

        Having no knowledge of a patent is not an admission of guilt of a patent violation. Especially if the patent in question turns out to be overly broad, vague or otherwise invalid.