The decision to appeal a jury verdict in a civil trial is often a complicated one, especially when it comes after a lengthy court battle or involves complex technology or terminology. In such cases, it is possible that circumstances would permit the filing of an appeal. Appealing a verdict can add yet more length and expense to an already exhausting dispute; however, when the stakes are high and potentially involve a significant amount of money, an appeal may be worth the time and effort for Las Vegas businesses.
A contentious dispute that had been going on between technological giants Google and Oracle since 2010 was recently concluded in Google’s favor. Oracle had sued Google for alleged copyright infringement of Java code, of which Oracle owns the rights. However, the jury decided that Google’s use of the technology, which helped develop the Android smartphone operating system, was permissible under fair use laws.
Oracle executives were not at all satisfied with the verdict and plan to appeal. However, as has been discussed previously in this blog, it is not enough simply to disagree with a verdict to allow an appeal. The appealing side must be able to show that there was a mistake or some sort of miscarriage of justice involving jury, attorneys or trial itself, before an appeal may proceed. In this case, Oracle might argue that there was faulty evidence or improper jury instructions. A company might also argue that there was bias within the jury members, or that they had been unfairly influenced by the evidence or opposing counsel.
ARS Technica, “It’s official: Oracle will appeal its ‘fair use’ loss against Google,” Jo Mullin, Oct. 27, 2016