We'd been hoping to hear a verdict from the jury in the Oracle vs. Google trial today, but something unexpected happened instead: one of the jurors was accused of discussing the case over the weekend with her husband. Deliberations were immediately stopped after the issue came to light, and the juror that had raised concerns was brought into the courtroom. He reported that a fellow juror had stated she had knowledge of patent law through her husband; the juror that flagged the issue thought the woman's husband was an attorney.
Judge William Alsup discussed the issue with the accused juror, who stated that her husband was not an attorney at all, but simply an individual who held several patents himself. He had provided her with information as to the length of time patents are valid — information that was in fact incorrect — but she stated that was the only topic they had discussed. In fact, the juror said she had already made up her mind in the case last week — long before the conversation with her husband happened.
The rest of the jurors did not feel that the information has impeded their ability to continue deliberations, so after clarifying the factual information with regard to the length of time patents are valid, the judge sent the jury back to continue its work. Of course, given that we're still in the copyright phase of the trial, the issue of patents aren't even in play yet, and any derailment of the proceedings based upon this compromise would have seemed a particularly cruel turn of events. Heading back to continue their discussions, the jurors demonstrated the same dogged determination they've shown throughout the trial up to this point. Will we hear a final verdict from them today? Stay tuned.