Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Verdict is In: Google Android Does Not Infringe Upon Oracle's Java Patents, Says the Jury

The verdict is in on the patent infringement case filed by Oracle against Google. After over a week’s deliberations, a San Francisco jury declared that Google’s Android did not infringe on any of Oracle’s two Java patents, to the relief of everyone in Android based Mobile Commerce industry. 

The trial was held at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco and started on April 16. It was to have three parts, for copyrights, patents, and damages.

An incomplete verdict had earlier been delivered on the trial’s copyrights part. This second part on patents had been viewed as less important because of the smaller damages at stake.

Nonetheless, this development scores an important win for Google and a setback for Oracle.

Oracle has already released a statement saying it would fight against Java’s fragmentation. However, it gave no details on how it planned to do that. Nor did it specify whether or how this was related to the Android patent case.

Google, in its part, is naturally in a celebratory mood. “Today's jury verdict that Android does not infringe Oracle's patents was a victory not just for Google but the entire Android ecosystem,” said a statement released by search engine giant.

The patents in question are, specifically, patents number 38,104 and 1,061,520. The former is a reissued patent awarded to Sun engineer James Gosling, also known as the Father of Java. It describes a “method and apparatus for resolving data references in generated code.”

The other patent describes a “method and system for performing static initialization.”

Both patents are related to the memory management and performance in the virtual machine software on which Java programs are run.

This verdict will hopefully finally put this matter to rest, allowing thousands of Android developers and hundreds of Mobile Commerce start ups who are betting their future on Android can relax and move forward. 
                                                                                                Yash Talreja, Independent Consultant

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