Splits in the circuits are more common than you might imagine, and the Supreme Court doesn't always resolve them. A lot depends on how substantial the split is. Minor differences don't always get resolved.
In any event, this case isn't "ripe" for appeal to the Supreme Court yet. The Supremes rarely get involved until all lower court proceedings have been exhausted, and this case just got sent back for retrial on the issue of fair use. The process can be maddening for the individual litigants, but it makes sense for the legal system overall.
(I actually read the court ruling before posting this)
tl;dr version: The results will likely be awful, but the decision appears legally correct.
Google won at trial because the judge decided that the Java API was not copyrightable. I absolutely believe that API's should not be copyrightable, but that isn't what the law says. Copyrightability has a very low threshold. The trial judge screwed up by applying legal standards related to fair use to the question of copyrightability. The appeals court was correct to reverse.
The case now goes back to the district court. There will be a new trail with a new jury, but the only issue will be whether Googe's copying of the Java API is fair use. The original jury deadlocked on this question. Fair use decisions are very subjective, so it's hard to predict how this will turn out. All I can say is that I hope Google wins.
P.S. None of this decision was related to patents. Oracle lost on their patent claims at trial, and that stands.
The jury saw that, and decided that that was wrong.
And therein lies the problem. The point of a trial is to decide what is LEGAL. It's great when Right and Wrong correspond to Legal and Illegal, but it doesn't always work out that way. One reason it doesn't is because right vs. wrong can be very subjective, but legal vs. illegal is supposed to be very objective.
I'm concerned that this jury simply got offended that "Samsung copied Apple", and didn't fully consider the prior art that would make such copying perfectly legal. The foreman saying they wanted to "send a message", in clear violation of the judge's instructions, calls the result into question.
From a purely technical perspective, Microsoft's proposal may actually be the better choice. The problem is that CU-RTC-Web doesn't mandate a codec, and lets the peers negotiate. Microsoft spins this as being flexible, and at a purely technical level, it is. The problem is that if the standard doesn't mandate some reasonable baseline codec, you're going to end up with implementations that can't talk to each other. Microsoft knows this, and they doesn't care.
Google isn't exactly a Saint either. They know full well that Microsoft and Apple won't implement VP8 (for semi-defensible technical/legal reasons, as well as evil intent). WebRTC with VP8 is unlikely to ever be available on iDevices, and that's a significant chunk of the market. Google knows this, and they don't care.
Link to Original Source
Really, the FCC and/or the GPS equipment manufacturer should be the ones being penalised.
As a practical matter, there's no way to do that. If you allow Lightspeed to operate, you penalize the USERS of the (allegedly) badly designed GPS devices. It does suck to be Lightspeed, because GPS really is much more important than them.