After a week of deliberation in the high-profile Google-Oracle Java lawsuit, a 12-member US jury finally ruled on Monday that Google had infringed a few of Oracle's copyrights on the Java programming language for developing its Android mobile operating system.
Although the jury sided with Oracle in the case, the Monday verdict still spelled only a partial win for the company because the jury-members failed to reach a unanimous decision on whether Google's infringement of Java constituted "fair use" and was a legally permitted action.
Since "fair use" is the most crucial question for deciding damages in the case, the verdict is somewhat of a setback for Oracle which is seeking approximately $1 billion in copyright damages from Google.
With the "fair use" aspect permitting the copying of creative works for some specific purposes, the jury particularly looked into factors like whether Android was "transformative" enough to have led to a new creation, or was it merely an offshoot of the Java APIs (application programming interfaces).
The jury also deliberated on how much of Java as a whole did Google copy for Android; whether the use was commercial; and what was the extent of harm that Google's actions caused Oracle.
Appreciating the jury's ruling and noting that "fair use and infringement are two sides of the same coin," Google said in an e-mailed statement: "The core issue is whether the APIs here are copyrightable, and that's for the court to decide. We expect to prevail on this issue and Oracle's other claims."
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