Google Android does not breach Oracle patents, court finds

A US court has found that Google's Android mobile platform does not infringe Oracle's Java patents

A US court ruling that Google's Android mobile platform does not infringe Oracle's Java patents has put Oracle's claim for $1bn copyright damages from Google on hold.

The ruling, which comes two weeks after the court found that Google infringed Oracle's copyright, but could not agree whether Google's actions constituted "fair use", is a huge blow to Oracle.

Intellectual property lawyers said the outcome of the Google trial was humbling for Oracle, according to the Guardian.

Oracle sued Google in August 2010, claiming Android infringed its Intellectual property rights, but without a finding against Google on the "fair use" issue, Oracle claim the damages it was seeking.

Google argued that Android did not violate Oracle's patents and that Oracle cannot copyright parts of the open source Java programming language.

The case focused on the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) that help developers create software on the Java platform.

The jury found that Google infringed 37 copyrighted APIs, but it also agreed that Google had demonstrated that it was led to believe it did not need a licence for using Java.

US legal experts said the latest finding in the case demonstrated the risks of IP litigation. Oracle had expected to gain millions, not stand to lose millions in legal fees.

Although the jury indicated they did not think APIs could be copyrighted, US District Judge William Alsup has retained that determination as a matter of law, reports said.

Judge Alsup has yet to rule on whether language APIs can be copyrighted, but has indicated that he will rule on that separately in the next stage of the trial, in which damages will be set.

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