Oracle Gets Nothing in Google Android Lawsuit, Opts for Appeal
June 21, 2012 11:06 AM
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Judge's decision narrowly followed the jury's -- Oracle did not sufficiently prove infringement
Oracle Corp. (
) at one time hoped to win as much as $7B USD from Google Inc. (
) for its allegedly unauthorized use of certain license-only Java source files. That wouldn't be a bad payday -- in fact it would almost entirely justify the
$7.4B USD Oracle paid
to acquired Java-maker Sun Microsystems.
But Oracle's sweet dreams quickly became bitter nightmares as a jury ruled that Google was
not guilty of
of Oracle's copyright or patent infringement claims. Faced with the prospect of a billion dollar settlement shrinking to a couple million dollars, Oracle's lawyers are now spinning their wheels in a last ditch effort to try to jump-start the almost-dead lawsuit.
Northern District of California
(San Francisco) they submitted a request to presiding
Judge William Alsup
requesting $0 of damages "related to Google’s infringement of Oracle’s copyrights in connection with (1) the rangeCheck code in TimSort.java and ComparableTimSort.java, and (2) the eight decompiled files (seven 'Impl.java' files and one 'ACL' file)."
Oracle's get-rich-quick-via-lawsuits scheme for Sun Microsystems didn't exactly
work out as it intended. [Image Source: Eric Faller]
Judge Alsup seemed somewhat surprised at the apparent surrender from the Oracle legal crew, commenting, "Is there a catch I need to be aware of?"
Well, there was indeed a catch. Oracle is agreeing to toss aside whatever pittance it would have received for the few scraps of infringement the jury tossed its way for a reason. By ending the trial, it will be able to move ahead more quickly to its appeal, where it will challenge the jury's findings on the more major infringement claims.
It if it wins, the case will be sent back before Judge Alsup.
service, Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs mustered a quip, telling Judge Alsup and the audience in attendance, "I hope we see you again after an appeal."
Oracle is in a tough spot as it now finds itself having to play offense against Google, while
playing defense against Hewlett-Packard
Comp. (HPQ) which claims that Oracle
for Intel Corp.'s (INTC)
. That lawsuit is also tied to the Sun acquisition, as Sun Microsystems (and now Oracle, by proxy) makes the SPARC processor architecture, an Itanium competitor. Oracle denies breaching its contract to favor its new acquisition, but on the surface there's certain somewhat of an appearance that it did precisely that.
Oracle wasn't the only big loser in the Google Java case. The "not guilty" ruling was also a blow to blogger Florian Mueller of
who long claimed that Google would be found guilty and have to pay massive damages. Coincidentally, Mr. Mueller's objectivity was recently called into question when it was revealed he was
on Oracle's payroll
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: GNU GPL
6/21/2012 2:40:02 PM
Android uses the open source Dalvik Java VM which was created before Android existed and licensed using the Apache license model. Google simply tweaked it to their ends and released the source with the Android platform in accordance with the license.
Dalvik is a Java implementation that has the same API methods and properties as Java, but implements different underlying code. In this case, the judge ruled that API's are non-copyrightable in the first place so it's really a non-issue. Google used it instead of licensing the official Java VM so they could have some control over Android's source code.
In this case, the only infringement that was found were several lines of code found to be too similar to Oracle's Java VM.
I liken this to a book analogy: If I copied the index structure of another book, but the title, chapters and everything else is different, does the copyright holder of the book whose index structure I copied have the right to compensation? In this case the judge said no, they don't. I agree what that decision, since the content is completely different. It's merely the interface to the content that's the same.
RE: GNU GPL
6/23/2012 2:41:24 PM
My thanks for your analogy. I think you explained it very well.
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