Jury retires for weekend in deadlock in Oracle-v-Google verdict

Stuck on single issue, but judge offers compromise


The jury in the trial between Oracle and Google over alleged copyright infringement of Java in the Android operating system has retired for the weekend after stalling on a single point of law.

The jury of seven women and five men began mulling the issue on Tuesday and have now reported that a verdict has been reached on three out of the four charges in the trial, but that they're stuck on the last one.

They appear to be clear on the question of APIs being covered by copyright, but are deadlocked on the issue of whether or not Google simply copied Java code, or if it added enough utility to invoke fair use.

"If there is hope for reaching a verdict on all the questions, we should take advantage of that hope and spend one more day deliberating," US District Judge William Alsup told the jury, the San Jose Mercury News reports. "So what I'm going to ask you to do is do exactly that."

Judge Alsup indicated that he would be willing to accept a partial verdict in the case, but would much rather have the jury agree on all charges.

The jury foreman said that several members of the group had requested more time to consider the arguments in the case, in the hope that people may change their mind on the issue and allow the delivery of a final verdict. There had been frequent communication between the jury and the judge over the issues raised and the panel appears to have had serious problems understanding the complexities of the case.

This is the first of three courtroom sessions scheduled for Oracle's legal fight against Google. So far it has seen a flustered Larry Page take the stand, ex-Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz testifying in Google's favor and the leaking of data about how much Android is costing the Chocolate Factory. This ruling will be crucial however, since it will set the tone for – or kill off – the next stages. ®


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