Google's Android did not infringe Oracle patents, jury finds

The verdict on patents follows a partial victory for Oracle in the trial's segment on alleged copyright infringements

Google's Android operating system does not infringe Oracle's Java patents, a jury in San Francisco found today in a setback for Oracle.

The jury delivered its verdict after more than a week of deliberations. It found no infringement of any of the claims in two Java-related patents Oracle had asserted, court documents show.

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It's the latest development in a complex trial that got underway April 16 at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. The trial was to be held in three parts, to address copyrights, patents and damages.

The jury already delivered an incomplete verdict in the copyrights phase of the trial, and the patents phase was seen as less significant because the damages at stake are not as large.

Oracle had originally accused Google of infringing seven Java-related patents in Android, but Google had all of the patents reexamined by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and got the number whittled down to just two for the trial.

"Today's jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle's patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem," Google said in a statement. 

Oracle issued a statement vaguely asserting it would fight against the fragmentation of Java, but did not specify how it would do so or how that related to its Android patent claims.

The patents relate to performance and memory management in the virtual machine software where Java programs are run. They are patent number 6,061,520, which describes a "method and system for performing static initialization," and the reissued patent number 38,104, describing a "method and apparatus for resolving data references in generated code.

The reissued patent was awarded to James Gosling, the Sun engineer often called the father of Java.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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