May 8, 2012- A federal grand jury in San Francisco was unable to agree on a key issue of the lawsuit that Oracle brought against Google for copyright infringement. This has dulled the impact of the jury’s finding that Google has relied on the technology from another company to help build its Android platform for mobile devices.
On Monday, the impasse hurts Oracle’s attempt of extracting millions of dollars from the internet giant on grounds Google had pirated part of Android from Java, Oracle’s programming system.
The jury decided that Android did infringe on some of the copyrights of Java however, the 12-member jury could not decide if Google’s actions feel under the “fair use” protections in U.S. law. The provision for “fair use” allows excerpts to be taken from copyrighted work and appear in creative expressions of others, such as movies, books, and even computer software.
With the question of fair use still not decided, it now appears Oracle has little hope of leaving the trial with a large windfall. Oracle is a business software maker and was seeking $1 billion in the lawsuit for damages, and a court order to make Google reprogram their Android if some sort of agreement in licensing could not be agreed to.
The Judge in the case advised both lawyers on Monday that without a verdict in fair-use, there is zero finding for copyright liability.