Some notes on the hearing yesterday in the case:
“Judge: Where in the Cockburn report is the defense of the Patval study?
Oracle: It’s not in the report. It’s in the depositions.
Judge: But by Rule 26, all the relevant information has to be in the report itself [Something about the depositions not being court-admissable evidence].
Oracle: It would be an insurmountable obstacle to comprehensively defend the methodology in the report itself.
Judge: It is critical that the statistics of the patent value calculation be correct. “You’re not convincing me”. [That’s a direct quote.]”
Ouch! Judge Alsup seems to be on his game. Neither the lawyers nor the judge could get the maths right on the potential damages in the case. Rather than $billions, they seem to be headed towards a few tens of millions, provided no more patents are thrown out and Google is found to violate copyright. Google is arguing that Java APIs are not copyright protectable and Oracle is holding that they are. Damages, if any could be very small in any case compared to the worth of the two companies.
Oracle started by trumpeting $6billion in damages. How the mighty art fallen. The USPTO has thrown out most of their patent claims and the copyright situation seems very weak to me. Android includes no Java APIs at all, but Dalvik. The SDK may include Java APIs but it is distributed to rather a small number of programmers, not hundreds of millions of consumers.