If you've ever watched the MTV show Cribs, you may have seen the island Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson owns. It's a sweet island, don't get me wrong, but Branson has just been greatly outdone by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Ellison has reportedly purchased most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai for an undisclosed sum of money.
In a case whose roots go much further back than the few weeks and months that the actual in-court session has lasted, Oracle has accepted defeat at the hands of Google with a total of $0 damages. This case had Oracle suing Google for codes used in Android that they said the latter company had used without permission, looking to get reparations amounting in the billions. Instead what's happened is that the majority of the case has gone Google's way, and Oracle has accepted an agreement in which not only will they pay for Google's legal fees, they'll have essentially nothing to show for it in the end.
In the latest of a series of burns Google is issuing to Oracle amid the ruling that they were not in the wrong in their recent legal spat, the judge presiding over the case has ruled that Oracle is now responsible for all of Google's legal fees. Thusly they'll have lost a whole lot more than what they originally felt they were entitled to from Google as their claim that Google's usage of "their" code was done without their permission. Google spokesperson Jim Prosser has come forth to say that the total in damages for this final round of suits came to $300,000 USD.
Last week the jury in the Google vs Oracle trial ruled that Google did not infringe any of Oracle’s patents, and more news has now come out of the case. The judge has ruled that APIs are not copyrightable, marking the first time a court has addressed this specific issue. The judge decided that as long as the underlying code that is written is different, “anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API.”
Oracle faced a stronger than expected challenge convincing the jury in the Android case that Google had willfully infringed Java patents, post-trial comments have revealed, with most leaning heavily toward the search company throughout the case. Despite earlier speculation that the 12-strong jury was looking negatively on Google's arguments, jury foreman Greg Thompson told Ars Technica that in fact it was a 9-3 split in Google's favor on copyright issues. There are also suggestions that Oracle's stance left some on the jury feeling the company's strategies weren't in the public's best interest.
In the case of Oracle versus Google, it appears that the jury's verdict is out and it's favoring Google. Reports are just coming out now from the San Francisco court room, where the jury has already been dismissed and the third phase of the trial, which would determine the damages payable to Oracle, has been canceled.
The case of Oracle against Google is going into its second phase of deliberations with the jury now mulling over the verdict for Oracle's patent claims. The jury has already given a partial verdict on the copyright allegations last week. The third and final phase after patents will be a verdict on damages.
Oracle has encountered an unforeseen issue in its ongoing Android Java suit against Google: a judge who himself codes, and knows the potential value of "stolen" code. Judge William Alsup challenged Oracle's lead lawyer David Boies over his suggestion that Google copied Java code so as to reduce the time that it took Android to get to market, Groklaw reports, insisting that in fact the relevant lines could be cooked up from scratch in exactly the same time. "The idea that someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast," Alsup pointed out, "it was an accident. There's no way you could say that was speeding them along to the marketplace."
Oracle has been spanked by the judge in the Android Java case for flip-flopping on its demands for a jury verdict, telling the firm he won't rule on whether Google overstepped "fair use" in its code. The ongoing lawsuit was thrown into confusion earlier this week, when the jury decided it could not settle on whether Google's use of certain lines of Java code in among Android counted as fair-use or not. Oracle's legal team subsequently pressured Judge William Alsup to make a "judgment as a matter of law" himself.