Judge urges more deliberations in Android case

SAN FRANCISCO Fri May 4, 2012 5:00pm EDT

An Android smartphone displays the Google website in this picture illustration in Seoul September 7, 2011. REUTERS/Truth Leem

An Android smartphone displays the Google website in this picture illustration in Seoul September 7, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Truth Leem

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A judge urged jurors to resume deliberating Oracle Corp's copyright claims against Google over the Android mobile platform, after they indicated there was unanimous agreement on all but one of the questions they must decide.

"It's worth you going home over weekend," District Judge William Alsup told the jurors, adding that deliberations in the federal court in San Francisco should continue next week.

Oracle sued Google in August 2010, saying Android infringes on its intellectual property rights to the Java programming language. Google says it does not violate Oracle's patents and that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java, an "open-source," or publicly available, software language.

Alsup had been prepared to allow the jury to deliver a partial verdict on Friday. But he changed his mind after one juror said others on the panel thought further deliberations might be useful.

"We should take advantage of that hope," Alsup said.

The trial has been divided into three phases: copyright liability, patent claims, and damages. It began in April and was expected to last at least eight weeks.

If the jury cannot agree on one question, Alsup has indicated he would allow them to deliver a partial verdict and move on to hear evidence in the patent phase of the case. Another jury may then have to resolve the unanswered copyright question on a retrial.

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 Leslie Gevirtz)

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