When it comes to Oracle’s massive copyright and patent case against Google, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that the jury has stated that Google infringed upon Oracle’s copyrighted code in the manner of 37 Java APIs used in Android. The good news is that they couldn’t agree on whether these APIs consist of fair use, since they’re openly published for the benefit of Java developers.
At this point, the case could go one of several ways. The presiding judge could simply omit the portion of the verdict that couldn’t be agreed upon, allowing the patent portion of the case to go forward but leaving the copyright claims in limbo. Or, as Google has already put forward, he could declare a mistrial and start the who affair over again. Oracle claims that the RangeCheck code is sufficient to earn is a portion of Google’s profits from Android.
Whatever is decided, this case is set to drag on for weeks or (more probably) months longer. The patent claims in particular are worrying for Android, since it’s at least possible that a verdict in Oracle’s favor could lead to an injunction against Android as an OS. If that were to happen, the legal squabbles between Samsung, HTC, Apple, Microsoft and Motorola would look insignificant in comparison.