Oracle-Google jury close to verdict; 'impasse' on one question

Oracle-Google jury close to verdict; 'impasse' on one question

Summary: The jury has come to unanimous decisions on all questions but one in the copyright segment of Oracle v. Google.


SAN FRANCISCO -- Just before going home for the weekend on Friday afternoon, the jury almost came back with a partial verdict in the copyright phase of Oracle v. Google at the U.S. District Court.

However, we won't know what they're thinking until at least Monday.

The jury sent a note to Judge William Alsup just after Noon PDT, informing the court that they had come to a unanimous decision on all questions but one -- on which the jury said they were at an "impasse."

Along with Judge Alsup, both Oracle counsel Michael Jacobs and Google attorney Robert Van Nest were eager to move on with the case and hear the partial verdict.

Thereafter, Judge Alsup called for the jury to come back into the courtroom, although the courtroom waited in near silence for several minutes before the five male and seven female jurors entered.

However, it turns out this was more of a boy-who-cried-wolf scenario.

When Judge Alsup asked the jury foreman if they were ready, the foreman replied that not everyone actually wanted to send that note, explaining that the problem was the "timing" of sending it. Only a majority of the jurors believed they were at an impasse, but a few others think that if they wait until Monday, they could reach a unanimous vote on all counts.

The foreman also nearly gave away which question it was that the jury cannot reconcile a unanimous answer, but the judge cut him off just in time.

Judge Alsup looked unsure on how to proceed, calling Jacobs and Van Nest into a sidebar conference while the courtroom waited for a few minutes.

In the end, Judge Alsup said that "experience" had taught him that it would be better to let the jury go home and come back on Monday to vote again. If they are still at an impasse then, it is likely a partial verdict will be read.

However, Judge Alsup sternly reminded the jurors that they are not allowed to do any research of any kind while on the jury.

After the jury had departed the room, Judge Alsup apologized to the courtroom for suggesting that if the jury's partial verdict was read today that the court would be on recess on Monday.

"I'm sorry I brought up the idea of a 3-day weekend," he concluded.

Jury Deliberates for Five Days

To recall, the jury began deliberating on Monday afternoon after lawyers from both Oracle and Google offered their closing statements for the first segment of this trial.

On Tuesday, both legal teams met in the courtroom for a one-hour conference at 10AM PDT, debating answers to jury questions concerning Google’s use of Java APIs from Apache Harmony as well as Oracle’s proposed witness list for the next segment of the trial, which will focus on patent infringement.

On Wednesday, the jury returned with more questions that pointed towards copyright infringement. Although the answer didn’t entirely please Google’s lawyers, Judge Alsup instructed the jury that they could consider both direct and indirect streams of revenue related to Android.

On Thursday afternoon, the jury returned with the eighth note issued during the deliberation period, which asked, “What happens if we can’t reach a unanimous decision and people are not budging?”

At an 8AM hearing on Friday, Judge Alsup asked attorneys from both Oracle and Google for their thoughts about where to proceed from here. While neither side was entirely in favor of a partial verdict, Jacobs acknowledged that could be a potential path. Van Nest was resolutely against the idea, preferring a completely unanimous verdict or a mistrial for the copyrights segment of the case.

Nevertheless, in the afternoon, Van Nest concurred with Jacobs and Judge Alsup to move the case along and hear the partial verdict.


Topics: Oracle, Google, Software Development

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  • I'm sure that the verdict will be favorable to Google

    and if it's unanimous, than it will be a clear victory!
    FOSS interests are a public interest and should come ahead of oracle's selfish greed!
    The Linux Geek
    • We'll surely find out

      But I wouldn't be so eager to proclaim victory just yet.
      John L. Ries
    • Geeks truely represent their loser lifestyles to the fullest!!!!

      Just because you NEVER created anything worth spitting on, doesnt mean that other people/companies WHO HAVE CREATED great products should be bullied by bigger evil corporations and have their technology ripped off!

      Google knew they needed licenses. They ignored the fact. NOW they must pay for their evil!
      Bay Area CA Male
      • That's you opinion

        the case in court seems to show differently. We'll see on Monday, but you have an obvious bias to proclaim the G was a thief when everything coming from the court seems to swing the other way.
      • Talk about 'your opinion'...


        That's hilarious that you say "that's your opinion," yet you yourself have your own opinion yet trot it around like fact.

        Either way, how can you say the 'court seems to show differently'? We have no idea what they are thinking, not until Monday.
      • We Who Have Created

        Funny thing is...
        People who create don't really care... They are wired to create regardless of "compensation" or luck of any compensation for that matter. Besides, whatever they created belong to a "corporation", not to a person who actually "created". Those creative individuals just collect their salaries, maybe small bonuses and just move on.
        They just no more than slaves of modern system of "exploitation of creativity". So, please, don't talk on behalf of "people who have created". Lots of those people will be happy to share their work with others
      • Please go away

        Mr. Baywatch Male....

        Oracle is not the one "WHO HAVE CREATED" Java. Oracle purchased it. Whether Oracle is due any compensation is up to the judge and jury, not us.

        By the way, I am concerned you are going to use up all of your capital letters and exclamation points posting like that, so I am giving you some of mine. JLPOUJFPOHSOAYOFQWEP IFPQEQWERITO AKLDSALFJKLDACV KCLANMCZXMCVLDSARFIO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        I hope that holds you over.
    • No innovation is the public interest and stealing ip stifles it.

      If everyone fairly licensed and used everyone elses work things would hmm along at a nice quick pace without any of this distracting waste of time and money.
      Johnny Vegas
      • what IP?

        the IP was donated by sun to the public and FOSS in particular.
        The Linux Geek
    • Selfish greed is what makes America great.

      "I feel, like most things with our legal system, that surprisingly Oracle will come out on top."
  • You never know...

    But I certainly hope that the jury rejects Oracle's absurd claims....

    • Ok and did you know the sky is blue???

      Yes of course we know that the google worshiping android loving geeks that pollute the internet tech sites hope that google wins!

      Even if google was the primary cause for the holo.caust ... the android religious fanaticism geekdom would still want google to win!


      Bay Area CA Male
      • I'm sorry I responded

        to your first trolling attempt. My bad.
      • Congratulations

        A very fine Godwin indeed.
    • Linux Geek doesn't understand the GPL

      @LinuxGeek "the IP was donated by sun to the public and FOSS in particular. " Ok, let's do some simple logic. Java is under the GPL, right? The Linux kernel is under the GPL. Now, did Linus donate the kernel to the public? Think carefully before you answer...not that you will.
      • Linus released under GPL. No other.

        But, I contend it doesn't matter much as most if not all enhancements for a new platform are, or should be declared, non derivative works as Linus himself says. That is not the issue here, however. Frankly, I don't believe Sun/Oracle can prove ownership of the 37 either.
  • So, the SF Chron says it is Q1 which is two part

    1. As to the compilable code for the 37 Java API packages in question taken as a group:

    A. Has Oracle proven that Google has infringed the overall structure, sequence and organization of copyrighted works?
    Yes __________ No __________


    B. Has Google proven that its use of the overall structure, sequence and organization constituted ???fair use????

    Yes __________ No __________
  • Oracle Wins!!!!!

    THAT is the ONLY verdict that I want to hear!!!!!!!!!

    Google is EVIL and they deserve to be punished!

    If it were up to me, I would find google guilty of every accused violation, force them to pay A MINIMUM of $1 BILLION..... AND pay royalties for every dollar that inj revenue that comes from android!

    Google thought they could sidestep legal requirements just because they were bigger than Sun, they didnt count on Oracle to step in.
    NOW they must pay for their bullying!!!!!!!
    Bay Area CA Male
  • Seems to be "Fair Use" Question! Good Work Rachael!!!

    It's one of their questions to the judge earlier this week. Which means as requested by the Judge they are saying Google infringes (assuming Copyrightability as per the judge's instructions). But on this question of "Fair Use", they remain divided. No doubt that's the pivotal question for the jury still to decide. If they decide against Oracle on Fair Use, it would make it easier for the Judge to make his decision on API Copyrightability. So this jury is hung on one of the first 3 questions as per Jury Foreman's statement on which question the jury remains deadlocked on.

    But the attorneys will still be working hard this weekend, answering the Judge's questions pertaining to the recent EU Court of Justice's decision as to languages and SSO's (including API's) not being "Copyrightable". If this judge decides to make new case law that goes against this Internationally held wisdom, it'll result in a deluge of Copyright Lawsuits stuffing our court system and the mass exodus of Developers to the Safer grounds of the EU.

    Not to mention that all the millions of Applications developed using those assumed Sun owned API's (even though many have been contributed or ported by 3rd party devs into Java) will have to be removed and all our Android devices could become worthless here in America overnight. Imagine just how angry this would make over 300 Million of Android owners and developers Globally?

    Oracle would then be responsible for being an Indian Giver in the Open Source Community. Where they fought so hard to help in getting Unix API's open use into Linux. How about BSD and their own Solaris? They also use the Unix API's Structure, Sequence and Organization. Not to mention Apple's own OS-X Unix derivative cousin's use of the same "overall structure, sequence and organization" that could now be declared copyrightable works"!

    ......oh boy it's going to be an even worse slug fest in courts across America than Software Patents ever thought of being. It'll be Oracle's Java suffering the worst.... first with the Developer Community in mass migration to a safer language to code in. Right back into Google's hands with the far friendlier Developer confines of truly FREE to Use API's and programming languages. So...Oracle's about to pull off a Global Jonestown Massacre if this judge decides for them and they'll hate themselves in the end for doing so!!! Well at least until this decision is appealed and rescinded!