Bay Area

Mixed Ruling in Oracle Google Infringement Case

A federal judge in San Francisco has called on two Silicon Valley heavyweights to file motions this week on whether to declare a mistrial in their billion-dollar court battle.

Yesterday a federal jury found that in developing its Android smart phone software, Google borrowed too freely from copyrighted material belonging to Oracle. But the jury deadlocked on whether that infringement is okay under what's called "fair use."

"The big questionmark," said Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School, "And the thing I think that could derail the process, is the jury's failure to come to a verdict on the fair use finding."

That copyright issue is key to Oracle's claim for close to a billion dollars in damages. The judge could still make his own ruling on that claim -- as Oracle wants him to do.

Both sides are also proceeding with the second phase of the trial -- on whether Google violated Oracle's patent rights.


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