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17 May 2012, 12:58

Parties agree how to proceed in Oracle vs Google

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In Oracle's lawsuit against Google over alleged copyright and patent infringement in Android, the parties have signed a brief that narrows down the options for how the case will proceed. While the jury is now deliberating on the patent issues, it is now relatively clear how the copyright section of the damages proceedings will go forward.

Judge Alsup and both parties in the case have agreed to Oracle's suggestion of postponing a decision on damages pertaining to the already determined copyright infringements until Judge Alsup has ruled on the general copyrightability of programming APIs. This should happen some time during the next week.

If Alsup finds that APIs are copyrightable, then a new jury will hear the case for monetary damages. Presentations to the new jury will be limited to material and witnesses shown to the current jury. Under the agreement, Oracle will be free to state its case for infringer's profits, within limits.

If Alsup rules that APIs are not copyrightable, both parties have waived their right to a jury trial as far as the damages are concerned; Oracle could be awarded up to $150,000 per infringement in statutory damages.

Google's motion for a mistrial has still not been decided on, and deliberations will start after Judge Alsup has ruled on the API copyrightability issue. Meanwhile, the jury is debating the patent issues of the lawsuit, but has not yet reached any decisions.


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