Oracle v. Google loses another juror; patent verdict looks distant

Oracle v. Google loses another juror; patent verdict looks distant

Summary: Verdict deliberations in Oracle v. Google have been mixed up as the jury looks like it might be stuck on the question of infringement once again.


SAN FRANCISCO -- Rather than 12 Angry Men, proceedings are starting to play out more like And Then There Were None in Oracle v. Google.

That's because the jury lost another member on Friday morning, bringing the total count to five men and five women. The trial originally started with 12 people in April: five men and seven women.

The juror that was dismissed on Friday complained the day before that she had come down with a cold. Although she was originally instructed to try to show up at the U.S. District Court of Northern California on Friday morning anyway after the jury was sent home early on Thursday afternoon, she called the court after 9:00PM PDT on Thursday to inform the court that she wasn't going to make it on Friday.

As he warned, Judge William Alsup dismissed her from jury duty immediately on Friday morning, telling the jury it would be an inconvenience to the remaining 10 of them if proceedings were delayed any further. Thus, the jury continued to deliberate on Friday.

This follows the departure of another female juror on Tuesday morning ahead of closing arguments after she called in to say she couldn't make it due to car trouble on the San Francisco Bay Bridge.

Incidentally, the judge told the jury a few weeks ago that the trial can still carry on if it loses a few jurors. Alsup never offered an exact number, but he said that it was possible to continue proceedings even if the total count dropped by one or two. On Thursday, he specified that the jury count could be as low as six for the trial to continue without disruption.

At the same time, based on the questions from the jury thus far, it looks like they could be at an impasse yet again over U.S. Patent No. 6,061,520, which is addressed in question two of three on the special verdict form for the patent phase of the case.

Twice the jury has requested to hear transcripts of court testimony read back to them -- specifically from Oracle expert witness John Mitchell and Google expert witness Terence Parr. Excerpts from both readings focused the terminology and differences of simulated execution and pattern matching.

In closing arguments, Van Nest said on the ‘520 patent that every expert witness acknowledged every step of the method must be present, including simulation of the bytecode. He also explained Android doesn’t implement simulated execution like Oracle argues, but rather pattern matching.

Parr said that the dx tool in Android doesn't use simulated execution for the purpose of identifying static initialization of an array. Mitchell had said that simulated execution includes pattern matching.

Finally, also pointing towards potential problems in the deliberation room, one juror submitted a note on Friday afternoon asking why the verdict vote has to be unanimous.

The judge responded soundly, "It's the law. That's why it has to be unanimous. Congress said it has to be unanimous."

Before the jury reentered to hear the answer and reading of Parr's testimony, Alsup added that he has "been privileged to preside over more than 100 trials," with the vast majority of them being jury trials. He said that only in a couple instances did he have juries that could not come to unanimous decisions.

Oracle v. Google: Special Verdict Form for Patent Phase


Topics: Oracle, Google, Networking

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  • Google is innocent

    That's the truth. No verdict = innocent!
    Oracle must go home empty handed!
    The Linux Geek
    • I hear that Google is poisoning the jurors

      as they see they're about to lose and want to get a mistrial, so they'll have to start from the begining, but this time try it with some new lies.
      William Farrel
      • the only reason the jury hanged

        is because there are some oracle agents inside that won't budge to the will of the people.
        The Linux Geek
      • Only Apple Gets Away w/ Orwellian "Doublethink" answers!

        But here we see one Oracle/Apple fool, that believes Oracle's Dr. Mitchell was able to pull off a lame (Doublethink) Catch 22 answer stating 520 (or 104 not sure which) Patent both Simulates and Pattern Matches in it's run process. Sorry... but like getting an acting job or in to the SAG Union, you must have a job before you can join the Union and you must be in the Union before you get a acting job. Therefore what he errantly describes is as impossible as getting an acting job and getting in the Union at the same time. The way through this Catch 22 is really tricky and getting away with a Doublethink answer with this judge and jury is impossible!

        Only a nutcase would assume Oracle is about to win on patents from what was said in this article. lol... Do some actual fact finding of the evidence presented in this case to the jury. Realize that Oracle's Dr Mitchell's testimony was called into question by the Judge as well as Google's lawyers and he subsequently impeached himself on the stand under cross examination by Van Nest.

        At that point you might understand that it's impossible to have both "Pattern Matching" and "Simulation" running in the same process. It's an either/or situation and takes some tricky lawyering to even cover up what he stated to any jury that was actually listening. Either it runs in Simulation or it runs using Patern Matching. Can't be both!!! ....and Google proved that Android runs only Pattern Matching at runtime!

        Which under cross examination, Dr. Mitchell admitted that he didn't know if the "520" patent used "Pattern Matching" or not! ......that's as good as admitting he doesn't know if Google is using the "520" Patent in the first place then! haha.... if anything other than Google winning here comes from this jury, it'd be another HUNG JURY Decision.

        Since that second question from the Jury today, is again asking a "What if it's not a Unanimous Vote"? lol... No decision is still a win for Google, because they won't be paying anything to Oracle until it goes to another Jury most likely a year away. By that time one patent will be dead and the other most likely fully invalidated (104 stands preliminarily invalidated by USPTO)! .....and they have no chance to bring back the re-instated patent either! SORRY.... but Oracle is losing big time at this point and not destined to recoup even a Billion of the Dollars they spent on Sun, in order to get back at Google for their buddies at Apple!
      • I believe you meant "the jury hung".

        A "hanged" jury is something else entirely!!!! ;-)
  • And thus we have winners

    Of the tin foil crown:
    On the freetard side: Linux Geek
    On the proprietard side: Will Farrel.
    Well done gentlemen!
    And Miss King (?Mrs too young perhaps), you are doing an awesome job, you write perhaps the best blogs on this site. Keep up the good job and ignore the fanboys (myself included occasionally)
    • I Agree Rachel May Be the Only Bright Spot on ZDNet!

      Besides being cute to go with that. But... sometimes I wonder if she ever sleeps by reading the timing of her Twitter Posts. Seems she's awake at all hours of the day n night and I'm not so sure she's not posting some tweets in her sleep! ;-P
    • Should you not add yourself to that list, as a winner of your own crown?

      As you did not catch on to their banter?

      If it has not been that obvious to you, let me point out that Linux Geek is but a prop, as no one can post that which he does with a straight face, so he must be little more then a puppet for our amusement.

      Thus when anyone speaks to Linux Geek, it must be with the sarcasm that he desrves, be it Will Farrel or anyone else, myself included.

      Though you must enlighten us as to what [i]proprietard[/i] as I am unfamilure with that word.
      Tim Cook
      • stop judging people!

        I'm not always right, but I'm with the majority opinion on sites like groklaw, a forum for the people.
        The Linux Geek
      • But please Mr. Spock

        Welcome to our pretty group ;-). I believe I did put myself in the fanboy group. Or perhaps it is your reading comprehension that is failing you?
        proprietard: Those for whom MSFT, APPLE or ORCL can do no wrong and Redhat, Ubuntu, FOSS in general can do not right. You know, people like you and Mr. Farrel. Don't play dumb, well really dumber.
        Oh, yes I see you use IE.
      • A word of advice about "William Farrell" and this Spock Impersonator...

        These two identities are apparently interchangeable, as evidenced by this curious post by "William Farrell":[quote]And also, where did I express "outrage"?

        I believe all I did was mention why Apple could not do that.

        You must not let your overly emotional attachment to Apple's products cloud what you see. :| [/quote]
        http (zdnet) /tb/1-113814-2303703
      • Whatever you say General Zogg

        I'm sorry, I meant "Zod".
        If you can't keep your names straight, how should anyone else be able to keep your names straight? :D
        William Farrel
      • William, that post says what it says.

        You should know that - you posted it.
    • Google Free?

      Last time when I checked they are publicly traded for profit organization not a non-profit or free company. And don't count by default that whoever is on Google side is a FSF or OSS zealot. Linux Geek in name is Linux, but in reality charges for his/her living too, he/she won't do for "free". So, please don't count him/her as freetard.
      Ram U
      • Well....

        I think the classification I gave is a bit simplistic but I cannot spend hours defining the 2 species. If you don't agree with me- fine. FOSS BTW is not about money, it is about free choice. That proprietards would never learn.
    • Ms King

      I agree with any and all compliments about Ms King's strength as a writer. Too bad we have to be in the middle of this mess to express our compliments.
  • Comments?

    As best as I can tell, we have one discussion of the facts of the case, two compliments to the writer, and the rest seems to be a slugfest with each other. Wow!
  • Oracle/Sun patents do not cover Google's technology

    Most of Oracle's patents for this trial were eventually deemed invalid, and I think given enough time, all of them would have been. Virtual machines and just-in-time compilers have been around for decades and it seems very unlikely that there is anything unique or special about the methods that are the subject of IP here. In any case, as another commenter has mentioned, Oracle's key technical witness Dr. Mitchell, a computer science professor from Stanford, has provided very questionable testimony. If we are to believe him, directly indexing into tables is equivalent to symbolic table lookup, despite very disparate computational requirements, and "simulated execution" is the same as simple pattern matching (though execution certainly can use pattern matching). Furthermore, Oracle's counsel has tried to argue that contrary to established industry understanding about the term "dynamic" within the context of virtual machines, symbolic lookup is still dynamic even if it is executed only before the application runs- this is typically described as "static linking". Yeah. It defies belief, and to accept these equivalences is to essentially grant these patents very broad coverage while dismissing the importance of the descriptive terminology.

    It is clear that Oracle's entire case rests upon finding that a reimplementation of a functional interface (the Java APIs in question) constitutes copyright infringement. Such a ruling might call into question established industry practice and many technologies including WINE (Windows emulation), Linux (essentially a reimplementation of Unix), Samba, and who knows what else. I am strongly of the opinion that this should not happen.

    Please recall that Oracle began this charade asking for billions for technology that they do not own, and to honor their point of view would initiate a major "land grab" by private industry of the public's property. Now that would be stealing!