News just in: Google won decisively in the Oracle vs Google lawsuit. It is great day for technology.
According to Groklaw, the special verdict form for the patent phase of the trial is one sided to Google’s favour. That surprise me a bit, I thought Oracle should be able to make at least one small thing stick.
The other surprise for me is from Levine’s tweet: Jury believe Google’s use of Java in Android is creative transformation. It is therefore, protected under fair use. I was too preoccupied about API cannot be copyrighted that I forgotten to explore this avenue. Kudos to Google lawyers for planting this in the jury’s mind.
What did Oracle wins? Some money from the infringement verdict for a few lines of codes. Even the judge did not think it is going to amount to much. There is another infringement which the judge grant Oracle as he reversed the jury decision but that is probably not going to amount to much. That’s why Oracle agree not to go to the third phase where the jury decides on the amount of damage to grant Oracle.
The first remaining uncertainty is whether API is copyrightable. That is still up in the air as we await the judge’s decision. The second is what had been discussed in the previous paragraph, i.e. fair use question on the documentation. It appears that the opinion is strongly in favour of Google (9-3). It means Oracle probably do not stand a chance of getting a favourable results if the question goes to a new jury.
Oracle’s big money dream just went up in smoke, unless of course, a higher court reverse the judgement. It will still get something. Will it appeal? Likely.
Will Google settle? It is not in Google’s character to settle lawsuit. They tend to take it to a bitter end. The verdict did nothing that will encourage Google to go down that line.
The show is not over yet, but all the epic scenes in the show had. We still wait for Judge Alsup to tidy up last bit of the case: is API copyrightable. Then it is off to the Appellate Court we go.
A big thank you to everyone at Groklaw for covering the case. Once again, you all excelled beyond believe!