Google Sunk Oracle’s Battleship

Oracle v Google has become a game of words. It started out as an ominous war-cloud with Oracle claiming $billions but now Oracle will be lucky to recover its costs of the litigation.

Google’s latest salvo about whether or not the Java APIs are protected copyrighted works:
“the API specifications are analogous to a dictionary, not a history. The specifications provide an alphabetical list of the methods, fields and interfaces in the API packages — the “vocabulary” to which Steele refers — just as a dictionary has an alphabetical list of words. The specifications also include explanations for the methods, fields and interfaces, just as a dictionary has a definition for each word. And just as copyright law does not prevent Webster from publishing a dictionary that defines the same words, in the same alphabetical order, that Oxford does, copyright law does not prevent Google from implementing the same APIs, in the same alphabetical order, that Sun did. Oxford’s copyright in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary covers its definitions, not its “selection” of words, or the “arrangement” or “structure” of its dictionary.”

Oops! What was Oracle’s puff of smoke?
“Google concedes that “[t]here is no dispute that the Android specifications for the 37 API packages at issue have substantially the same selection, arrangement and structure of API elements as the J2SE specifications.” (Google Br. at 3.) It follows that Android’s selection, arrangement and structure of the names of the elements is similar as well. As a result, Google would be liable for infringement even if it could prove these individual API elements and names are unprotectable”

Oh no! Oracle, that’s not how mathematics works! Adding a bunch of zeroes does not give a positive result.

A further hiccough:
“Google does not dispute that it copied from the 11 Oracle source code files. Google argues that the infringement claim is moot because it removed the copied code after it was caught.”

11 ! Count them! 11 files accidentally included and not even needed for the purposes of Android out of many thousands of files. Oracle! Is that all you’ve got?

I can see the judge politely suggesting Oracle not take those claims to court. Have you ever seen a respected person stand up in public and make it known how foolish they are? How it makes you squirm in your seat wishing you were somewhere else. This will be one of those moments unless the judge gets the claims dropped. If not the moment will last for weeks and be much more humiliating. The jury will be squirming in their seats and wishing the trial would end suddenly.

The issue of patents is similarly embarrasing as the abundance of patents in suit and claims of violation has withered to a couple of items of tiny value if anything. Is it worth 8 weeks of trial to calculate whether zero times a bunch of factors amounts to anything? The Court is thinking ~$100 million tops, with all factors being 1. The result will almost certainly be much less if greater than zero. Oracle might save money by dropping all claims and firing the people who got them into this mess.

see GROKLAW – Magistrate Judge Orders Oracle and Google to Attend Settlement Talks By April 9 ~pj – Updated 2Xs

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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