The five male and seven female jurors were unanimous in their answers to nearly all of the four detailed questions supplied by Judge William Alsup to determine whether Google’s Android mobile platform infringed on part of the Java programming language that Oracle acquired from Sun in 2010.
Google will make arguments for a mistrial on Tuesday and Thursday this week. Any debate over whether or not Google proved fair use must be answered before the damages can be determined. Furthermore, the judge still needs to determine whether or not APIs are copyrightable, based on the advice offered from the jury.
Google also issued the following initial statement immediately after the verdict was read:
We appreciate the jury’s efforts, and know that fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin. The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that’s for the court to decide. We expect to prevail on this issue and Oracle’s other claims.
Oracle PR replied with these prepared remarks:
Oracle, the nine million Java developers, and the entire Java community thank the jury for their verdict in this phase of the case. The overwhelming evidence demonstrated that Google knew it needed a license and that its unauthorized fork of Java in Android shattered Java’s central write once run anywhere principle. Every major commercial enterprise — except Google — has a license for Java and maintains compatibility to run across all computing platforms.
The decision came after the jury almost delivered a partial verdict on Friday afternoon last week. They were unable to agree unanimously on one of the four questions in the jury instructions.
At issue in this phase of the trial was whether 37 Java APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) were subject to copyright. Oracle argued that Google copied the APIs from the Java core libraries, which would render 11,000 printed pages on the specifications, into the Android core libraries.
Oracle’s lawyers compared the creation of APIs to writing a piece of music, going further to say that API’s are not just “ideas,” but creative works that requires significant expertise and time.
Google argued that there was no copyright infringement because Google didn’t copy any unauthorized Java code, and that the Internet giant made fair use of the Java language APIs in Android and that Sun publicly approved Android’s use of Java.