Jury Flummoxed Over Google-Oracle Patent Fight

Caleb Garling, reporting for Wired:

Basically, the ’104 patent covers a way of improving the software compilation — the process of translating programming code into an executable application. The method described uses “symbolic references” to identify data during compilation rather than numeric memory locations. Oracle argues that Dalvik uses symbolic references, but Google says it doesn’t.

The jury has been deliberating over the claims for a week now, and on Tuesday, it had two more questions for the court, and both were related to the nuances of “symbolic references” and how they apply to data retrieval.

How could a randomly-selected jury possibly decide this? No knock intended against the jurors themselves — and it sounds like they’re doing their best to make an informed decision. But there’s a difference between a jury of your citizen peers and a jury of your technical peers.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012