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Java IoT: Article

Judge Finds Google Copied More Java Code than Jury Said

In a judgment as a matter of law the good judge said Google directly copied eight other Java files

District Court Judge William Alsup, who refused last week to decide whether Google had fairly used the Java IP a jury said Android infringed, had no trouble Friday deciding that the jury made a mistake in finding Google only copied nine lines of Java's rangeCheck code as well as infringing the sequence, structure and organization of 37 Java APIs.

In a judgment as a matter of law the good judge said Google directly copied eight other Java files and that it wasn't a petty little thing.

FOSS Patents had said when it came out that the jury's verdict was odd since "there are code files in there that are much larger than the rangeCheck function, and infringement was so clear that it shouldn't even have been put before a jury." The judge effectively said the blog was right.

In his decision Judge Alsup said:

The evidence at trial showed that Google decompiled eight Java files and copied them each in their entirety. No reasonable jury could find that the copying of entire computer files was de minimis. The trial record contains the source code for the Java code files (TX 623.2-623.8), decompiled versions of Java code files (TX 896.1-896.8), and corresponding Android code files (TX 1031-40). Professor John Mitchell testified about the decompilation process, how he determined that the eight files were decompiled and how, in a side-by-side comparison he found ‘that the actual code matches completely' (Tr. at 1259-1260).

In its opposition brief, Google argues that the jury may have found that Google's use of the copied files was de minimis because these copied files were only ‘test files' that were not shipped on Android phones. This is unpersuasive. Professor Mitchell testified that using the copied files even as test files would have been significant use. There was no testimony to the contrary. Moreover, our court of appeals has held that it is the amount of copying as compared to plaintiff's work that matters for the de minimis inquiry, not how the accused infringer used the copied work. Newton v. Diamond, 388 F.3d 1189, 1195 (9th Cir. 2004). Here, Google has admitted to copying the entire files. No reasonable jury could find that this copying was de minimis.

For the reasons stated, Oracle's motion for judgment as a matter of law of infringement of the decompiled files is GRANTED. The answer to Question 3B on the Special Verdict Form from phase one will be deemed ‘Yes.'

The copied file names are AclEntryImpl.java, AclImpl.java, GroupImpl.java, OwnerImpl.java, PermissionImpl.java, PrincipalImpl.java, PolicyNodeImpl.java and AclEnumerator.java.

See www.fosspatents.com/2012/05/judge-holds-google-to-infringe-8-more.html.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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