The latest development in the Google vs Oracle lawsuit, Google has asked the judge in the case to declare a mistrial. Essentially the jury did find that Google infringed on some of Oracle’s copyrighted Java API’s, but could not decide if Java use on the Android operating system was fair use or not.
Here’s a segment from the petition filed by Google earlier this week:
“Although the jury concluded that Oracle had proven that Google infringed the overall structure, sequence and organization of the copyrighted works, the jury did not reach a unanimous verdict as to whether Google had proven the affirmative defense of fair use,”
“Under settled Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit law, the jury’s failure to reach a verdict concerning both halves of this indivisible question requires a new trial concerning both questions.”
Oracle is hoping to avoid the cost and time a new trial would require and they demand to be compensating for the infringement with a certain amount of Android profits. This is a sentiment that did not sit well with Judge William Alsup, who is hearing the case. He called Oracle claim’s to the profits “ridiculous”.
Google is also challenging whether or not Oracle even holds the rights to the Java patents, as it is not made clear in what has been presented so far. This is an issue that could cause a lot of problems in the tech community if Oracle wins, as it would either render it hugely expensive to purchase a license for the technology or make unavailable completely.
No word yet on if the judge will proceed with the petition to declare a mistrial. One thing is for sure, there’s a lot of people hanging on the outcome of this case, and if a new and separate trail is required, it will only delay us finding out if Oracle actually has legitimate right to limit the use of the technology the way they are claiming.