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US jury finds Google infringed some Oracle copyrights for Java

A US jury today found Google had infringed some of Oracle’s copyrights on Java code used in its Android operating system, but they could not agree if this constituted "fair use".

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The Google logo at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California. (KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images)

A US jury today reached a partial verdict in a case involving Internet giant Google and business software maker Oracle.

The jury found Google had infringed some of Oracle’s copyrights on Java code used in its Android operating system, Reuters reported.

But the seven woman, five man jury could not agree on whether Google’s actions constituted “fair use” under the law. 

US District Court Judge William Alsup said the decision stops Oracle from seeking damages for all but nine lines of computer code on Android, out of 15 million total lines, that the jury found were copied from Oracle, according to Bloomberg.

“There has been zero finding of liability on any copyright so far," Alsup told the rival legal teams, Agence France-Presse reported.

"The affirmative defense of fair use is still in play.”

Oracle had been seeking $1 billion in compensation, but the Wall Street Journal said the company was likely to get only a fraction of that amount after today’s mixed decision.

Oracle claims Google breached its copyrights to the Java programming language in developing Android that now powers more than 300 million smartphones and tablet computers.

But Google chief executive Larry Page told the jury last month that the company “did nothing wrong” and it had been careful about what it did and didn't use to ensure it respected intellectual property rights.

The next stage of the trial will involve Oracle's allegations that Android violates two Java patents.

More from GlobalPost: One in five US adults does not use the internet: study
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120507/us-jury-finds-google-infringed-some-oracle-copyr