Most media outlets are positioning today's jury decision as a mixed decision, noting that Google's Android uses some Java building blocks. But the decision isn't expected to have a material impact on Google's bottom line. And even at that, Google plans to seek a mistrial because the Jury was not able to determine if Google’s use of Java interfaces was protected by fair use, noted The Wall Street Journal.
What's the upshot for Google Android smart phone makers and ISVs that write Android apps? Short term, there's little for those companies to worry about. The jury ruling essentially suggests that neither Google Android nor existing Android apps will need to be overhauled. But long term, some experts worry additional legal issues may be lurking.
According to The New York Times:
"Google infringed on the overall structure of software patents held by Oracle, a federal District Court jury in San Francisco decided Monday, but it also said that Google had not violated other important parts of Oracle’s software known as Java. But the decision raises questions about how carefully Google treats intellectual property rights, and could raise doubts among phone makers, who might well wonder what other legal claims might be lurking — from Apple, Microsoft or Nokia, for example."Still to be determined/disclosed: What steps, if any, will Oracle take against Google Android following today's courtroom decision? Also, noted The New York Times:
"The jury’s decision concludes only the first phase — the copyright claims — of a three-part trial. Next is the patent stage. The third part will determine the exact amount of damages Google owes, if any."Sounds like the Oracle Java vs. Google Android legal battle is far from over.