Copyright case in Oracle vs. Google goes to jury

SAN FRANCISCO Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:40pm EDT

Oracle CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison arrives at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Courthouse in San Jose, California September 19, 2011. REUTERS/Norbert von der Groeben

Oracle CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison arrives at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Courthouse in San Jose, California September 19, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Norbert von der Groeben

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Jurors began deliberating on Monday about whether Google Inc violated Oracle Corp's copyright on parts of the Java programming language, part of a high stakes trial over smartphone technology with more than $1 billion in play.

Oracle is suing Google in federal court, claiming the search engine giant's Android mobile platform violated its patents and copyright to Java, and is seeking roughly $1 billion in copyright damages.

Two years ago Oracle paid about $7.4 billion to buy Sun Microsystems, acquiring Java, the programming which is incorporated in Android smartphone technology, in the takeover.

In court on Monday, Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs said the parts of Java software that Google copied took much creative talent to compose.

"It's kind of like creating a symphony," Jacobs said during his closing argument.

But Google attorney Robert Van Nest said Sun's leadership had supported Android, and that Oracle decided against pursuing a smartphone of its own.

"It isn't until after they failed that they brought this lawsuit here," Van Nest said.

The jury will deliberate on copyright liability before moving on to hear evidence about patent infringement. U.S. District Judge William Alsup must also decide some of the copyright issues.

The trial, which began earlier this month, is expected to last eight weeks.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Oracle America, Inc v. Google Inc, 10-3561.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Richard Chang)

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