Earlier this week we brought you news that the jury that was deciding the first part – the copyright phase – of the ongoing trial between Oracle and Google had returned a peculiar verdict: they ruled that Google’s use of Java in the creation of Android did constitute infringement of Oracle’s intellectual property, but deadlocked on the question of whether that constituted fair use. Google promptly moved for a mistrial, but a ruling on that point has not yet been issued.
Today, Oracle received more bad news. According to a report published earlier this afternoon by ZDNet, the judge in the case told Oracle that the level of infringement the jury found Google to have perpetrated only allowed Oracle to be awarded a maximum – maximum – of $150,000. The jury found that only nine lines of Android’s code infringed on Oracle’s intellectual property. The judge also suggested that Oracle pursue a settlement with Google in order to avoid dragging the trial out longer than necessary.
The next phase of the three-part trial is the patent phase. This will determine whether Google is guilty of infringing on two of Oracle’s patents. Google reportedly offered to pay Oracle $2.8 million in damages and a small percentage of the royalties from Android through the end of the year, but Oracle was not interested. With the copyright phase of the trial ending badly for Oracle, don’t be surprised to find them headed back to the negotiating table soon.