Jury sent out again in Oracle case

A US jury has been sent out to have a think in a trial over allegations that Google’s Android mobile platform violates Oracle’s patents.

So far it has not done that well. The jury has already wrestled with Oracle’s copyright claims against Google and came up with a partial verdict.

Now, accoriding to Reuters,  jurors are mulling Oracle’s patent claims, but these are less important because the damages are far less than what is involved in the copyright allegations.

Oracle sued Google in August 2010, saying Android infringes on its intellectual property rights to Java.

Google said that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java because it is “open source.”

The complex trial in a San Francisco federal court has been divided into three phases: copyright liability, patent claims, and damages.

In his closing arguments yesterday Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs said it was not important that Oracle’s patents only cover certain parts of Android. He added that Google’s conduct was reckless.

Google attorney Robert Van Nest said the company designed Android from scratch.

He pointed out that there was no evidence Google encountered the patented technology until Oracle threatened to sue.

Oracle wants $1 billion in copyright damages, the patent damages are tiny.

Google offered Oracle 0.5 percent of Android revenue on one patent until it expires this December and 0.015 percent on a second patent until it expires in April 2018. Oracle told Google to go forth and multiply.

Last week, the jury decided that Oracle had proven copyright infringement for parts of Java. But the jury could not unanimously agree on whether Google could fairly use the code.

This meant that Oracle cannot recover damages on the bulk of its copyright claims. District judge Alsup has to rule on some crucial bits of law which will determine how a retrial will play out.