Finally...

Google Oracle Android trial date finally set for April 16th 2012

Chris Mayer
Justice-Android-Oracle

Judge Alsup has filed the order. The two companies will meet in April, which will suit Oracle just fine.

Well, it finally appears that we’re heading to the court room.
Yesterday, Judge Alsup set a definitive court date for the
long-awaited Android infringement case as April 16th, accepting
Oracle’s offer of withdrawing three patents in return for a spring
court date.

Originally set to meet on October 31st 2011, the jostling
between Oracle and Google over damage reports and the validity of
claims will cease as they meet next month, for approximately eight
weeks as the order says. The
first day of course will be jury selection and opening
statements.

Following on from Friday’s response, it looks like Judge Alsup,
probably like the rest of us, was growing weary of the tit-for-tat
nature of the arguments and appears to side with Oracle’s
streamlining approach in his final sentence of the order
saying:

Google is hereby encouraged to withdraw its invalidity
defenses that have failed in the reexamination process as a way to
further streamline the trial on the two patents remaining in
suit.

This is in reference to the coveted ‘520 patent that was
the only patent to survive reexamination, which Google were adamant
was invalid.


Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents
indicated how the trial may pan
out, with copyright taking precedence over the patent infringement
side of things. He said:

If Oracle’s patent case is limited to the ‘520 patent (where
it’s going to be difficult to convince the jury of actual
infringement) and the RE’104 “Gosling patent”, then I think we’re
talking about a copyright case much more so than a patent case.

The copyright part raises important questions concerning the
protection of intellectual property in material related to
application programming interfaces. The outcome could have
important effects way beyond this particular litigation.

Also appearing from the San Fransisco court was another order,
revealing that much of Oracle’s third damages report had been
thrown out – but not all. As provided in PDF format on
Groklaw,
a lot of Google’s contested problems with Dr Cockburn’s report were
well-founded as several methods were stricken from the record.
These include the independent-significance approach to
valuation, the econometric analysis, the conjoint
analysis as used to determine market share and the “upper
bound” calculation in the group-and-value approach. Either way,
this could be fairly irrelevant as a court-appointed expert will
offer his valuation in the trial and this will hold more power than
each party’s own opinion.

So, Oracle will go to trial with two patents in tow, and you’d
assume these patents hold substantial worth. After the original
lawsuit was filed back in 2010, we might well be heading into the
final stretch two years on. Don’t count on it though.

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