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Google To Pay $0 To Oracle In Copyright Case 250

Posted by samzenpus
from the alls-well-that-ends-well dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a hearing in the US District Court today, it was determined that Google will pay a net total of nothing for Oracle's patent claims against them. In fact, Google is given 14 days to file an application for Oracle to pay legal fees to Google (in a similar manner to how things are done for frivolous lawsuits). However, it is not quite peaches and roses for Google, as Oracle is planning on appealing the decision in the case.'"
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Google To Pay $0 To Oracle In Copyright Case

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  • Oracle (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:02PM (#40393559)
    So Oracle is all, "well, we got screwed because we got the smart judge. Maybe in an appeal we can get the dilhole judge. The one who can't write rangeCheck in 2 minutes."
    • Re:Oracle (Score:5, Insightful)

      by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:09PM (#40393597)
      What a slap in the face... but one Oracle desperately needed.
    • Re:Oracle (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:44PM (#40393867)

      Previous rulings are viewed as the starting point for appeals, and it's up to Oracle to try and prove why that ruling was flawed. Especially in a case like this, where a higher judge is much less likely to understand the matter, they'll treat Alsup's judgment very highly and are unlikely to overrule it.

      • Especially when the trial court judge, who taught himself java programming, has taken the pains to explain the intricacies of programming in a legalese the appeals court can understand. It would be that much harder to bamboozle the higher court.
    • Re:Oracle (Score:4, Funny)

      by poetmatt (793785) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:31PM (#40394205) Journal

      and yet only a small step from "6 billion dollars", huh.

      Oracle has screwed up so badly even their lawyers are looking horrible.

      • These are the same lawyers that shredded MS in the antitrust case, and then lost their bowels in SCO vs sanity. Seeing your username I think you knew that, but I wanted to point out the interesting history for others. I strongly suspect that Boies will modify their terms of engagement before taking on new clients in the future...

      • Re:Oracle (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2012 @01:58AM (#40394949)

        Given how close that figure is to the amount that Oracle paid for Sun, I guarantee you that before Oracle bought Sun, someone doing analysis of potential take over targets shortlisted Sun based on the Java IP. I'll bet that they thought it was a slam dunk that Sun could have won an IP lawsuit against Google and that made them an ideal takeover target since they have what Oracle would call an underutilized asset in the Java IP.

        Which of course is a massive miscalculation, but then again most corporate acquisitions turn out to be massive miscalculations.

        • Re:Oracle (Score:4, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Thursday June 21, 2012 @05:05AM (#40395835) Journal

          Which is a perfect example of why one shouldn't buy a FOSS company unless one wants to be in the FOSS business, because once the code has been FOSS you can't stuff that cat back in the bag.

          Not saying that is a bad thing, after all people like RMS have been preaching for FOSS for just that reason, that you can't put it back behind a paywall once its out there, but if oracle didn't want Sun to be a hardware company (which was what I thought the point was, Oracle OS on Oracle hardware designed for Oracle DBs giving them a full stack approach) then buying it was frankly retarded because Sun had already made any "juicy IP" open source and thus worthless for trolling. agree 100% with the ruling and am frankly shocked oracle would have been that damned dumb.

      • Re:Oracle (Score:4, Informative)

        by Tough Love (215404) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @03:48AM (#40395507)

        and yet only a small step from "6 billion dollars", huh.

        Oracle has screwed up so badly even their lawyers are looking horrible.

        Oracle's lawyers already looked horrible before the suit even started. Remember, these guys represented SCO. I guess shame is not a word in David Boies' vocabulary.

  • Cute (Score:5, Funny)

    by multicoregeneral (2618207) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:14PM (#40393645) Homepage
    The best part of the article is in how they came up with the zero dollar figure. You can't make this stuff up. Well, I suppose you could...
  • Weird ruling (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sideslash (1865434) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:17PM (#40393665)
    It blows my mind that Google can use a fairly complete Java clone over Oracles objections and pay nothing, while Apple sues people's socks off for making tablets shaped like rounded rectangles, and adding bounce to their scrollable views. I'm not a fan of software patents, so not saying I'm unhappy with the result. Just weirded out at the cluelessness of the legal system.
    • Re:Weird ruling (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shentino (1139071) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:23PM (#40393711)

      They are not clueless.

      They know damn well what they are doing.

      Remember, this is the same legal environment that packed the DOJ with ex-RIAA attorneys.

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        Remember, this is the same legal environment that packed the DOJ with ex-RIAA attorneys.

        Um, Obama and Biden did that. Not the "legal environment."

        I'm not a fan of the republicans either, who pack the DoJ with guys with other agendas, but the first step is to assign responsibility to the correct parties here.

    • Re:Weird ruling (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bmo (77928) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:47PM (#40393885)

      How is it a weird ruling?

      It's one of the most sane rulings to come down the pike.

      The other rulings that shock the conscience are the weird rulings.

      --
      BMO

    • Re:Weird ruling (Score:5, Interesting)

      by steveha (103154) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:52PM (#40393917) Homepage

      I think Apple's patents fall into two major categories: "design patents" that cover appearance, and UI innovations that come about because Apple has done a good job of pushing the frontiers of the user experience.

      "Rounded corners" and such are an example of the design patents, and that is a whole different category from technology patents like the ones on Java. Does not apply; moving on.

      Apple's UI innovation patents, as far as it seems to me (a non-lawyer), are mostly about doing something that hasn't been done before and trying to patent as much of it as possible. Some of these patents are bogus (IMHO the pinch-zoom gesture is an obvious thing to do if you have a multitouch display, so shouldn't be patentable) but some of these might not be bogus.

      On the other hand, the Java patents were really weak. The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) was hardly the first VM ever; the UCSD "p-System" VM is over three decades old, so Sun couldn't patent the basic idea of a VM to let programs run anywhere. So they patented a few aspects of Java, and then Oracle claimed in court that the Dalvik VM infringed those patents. But I've read several analyses of these patents, and they pretty much agreed that the patents were weak. It seems the court agreed.

      Finally, why should Google pay Oracle? Google is using a different VM, all new and all original code. Google isn't using the Java trademark, and doesn't have any agreement with Oracle. As people have observed here on Slashdot: If you want to argue that Oracle "owns" Java so completely that nobody may copy it, then maybe the creators of the C programming language and the C standard library could collect staggering royalties from pretty much the whole world.

      Google making Dalvik over the objections of Oracle is just like Dodge making a car over the objections of Ford. You can see why there might be objections, but society shouldn't interfere.

      steveha

    • Re:Weird ruling (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stephanruby (542433) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @01:50AM (#40394925)

      It blows my mind that Google can use a fairly complete Java clone over Oracles objections and pay nothing...

      Perhaps, the case would have been a little bit different if Sun had not open sourced Java in the first place.

      Also, it wasn't against Oracle's objections. You've got to remember that Oracle didn't even own Java at the time Google cloned it. Sun owned it and Sun had no problems with Google cloning it. So it's not like Oracle can even claim it was a victim in all of this, it wasn't.

    • There's a marked difference in those cases.

      In the case of Google vs Oracle, you had an American judge with 2 American companies, so the case was judged on its merits.

      In the case of Apple vs Samsung you had an American judge with Apple (American) and Samsung (Korean). The case does not appear to have been judged on its merits (as I am fairly sure Apple didn't really invent the rectangle).

      Call me a troll if you wish but this is how we (the rest of the World) understands these cases to be judged.
    • It blows my mind that Google can use a fairly complete Java clone over Oracles objections and pay nothing, while Apple sues people's socks off for making tablets shaped like rounded rectangles

      I suspect that if Apple had sued Google over rounded corners they would have had their ass handed to them.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:30PM (#40393767)

    It's incredible that expert Mueller still puts a positive spin on the case...from predicting "triple damages" to Oracle, to what he termed as the "smoking gun Lindholm email", to the general disdain of anything not sanctioned by his cronies.

    When one visits his blog, you cannot fail to see the little coverage he accords news unfavorable to those who bankroll him.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:37PM (#40393821) Journal
    Would there be a risk of being considered in contempt of court if one were to write a gigantic novelty check for the value of $Zero, sign it with a flourish, and hand it to the opposing counsel?
  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:51PM (#40393915)

    Appealing

  • by ddd0004 (1984672) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @10:59PM (#40393957)

    Google: I'm going to write a figure on this piece of paper. It's not quite as large as the last one, but I think you'll find it fair.
    Oracle's Lawyers: I think we should take it.

  • by Sarusa (104047) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:06PM (#40394007)

    Corporate lawsuits never involve such small numbers.

    I believe you meant $00,000,000

    • Why can't judges in these cases immediately rule "I pass" since we know they will always appeal and bribe things as far as possible.

      Actually, I think in such cases the cost to tax payers should be paid for doing the appeal, or even the lawsuit itself (regardless of outcome.) I doubt it would amount to much of the legal expenses since their lawyers are way more expensive than use of the court room and judge's time. Why should tax payers fund these guys abusing our system? Its not like they actually pay thei

  • by sensationull (889870) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:06PM (#40394009)

    Alright, who has Oracle's big pile of nothing... :)

  • Like? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Alter_3d (948458) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:31PM (#40394207)

    Google is given 14 days to file an application for Oracle to pay legal fees to Google

    Dammit... where is Slashdot's "like" button??

  • laymen... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2012 @12:20AM (#40394465)

    This clearly show that the court is manned by laymen... they should have made the decision that the ammount should be null, not zero.

    • Maybe they had a not null constraint on that (Oracle :)) database table, so zero was the correct token to use.

      Seriously though, awarding Oracle zero damages is not the same as not awarding them damages at all. This recognizes that Oracle was "right" in the case, even if no material damage is caused. I would have preferred that the result be that Google was not liable for damages at all (even the nominal sum of zero - but I haven't read the legal summary, I could well be wrong and that is what the judgeme

    • And while they're at it, they should declare software patents NULL and void too... though I'm not sure what compiler would accept such a mix of value and type.

  • I hope this becomes precedent for dealing with patent trolls.

    I COULD be mistaken, but didn't sun open source java before oracle bought them. If so, wouldn't it invalidate the claim, as google would have a prior license.
  • ... The leading one. A common enough programming trick .. sometimes a bug.

    Hopefully it will never be patented.

  • by thue (121682) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @06:33AM (#40396195) Homepage

    The article says the suit was about whether the APIs could be patented. That is not so - the suit was about whether the APIs could be copyrighted. The article author probably has no idea what he is talking about.

If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.

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