by Dennis Crouch
In the Oracle v. Google litigation, the jury found that Google had copied the Oracle’s protected Java software. However, the jury was hung on whether or not Google’s actions were excused by the fair use doctrine found in Section 107 of the Copyright Act. 17 U.S.C. 107. While the judge considers whether to declare a mistrial (or else to rule on fair use as a matter of law), the second phase of the trial will focus on patent infringement.
The quote of the day came from Oracle’s lawyer Michael Jacobs who indicated to the court “I think you’ll be pleased to know that fair use is not an issue in the patent case.” Jacobs is right – unlike copyright, US patent law does not (yet or currently?) contain a fair use exception beyond the extremely narrow experimental use and de minimis defenses to patent infringement.