Judge in Android patent case won’t split copyright claims like Oracle wanted
But we could get a trial date in mid-April. If all goes to plan.
The judge presiding over the Google/Oracle court case has ruled
against Oracle’s plea to focus solely on copyright infringement
claims in the near term – entering an order for the trial to begin
in April without this specification by Oracle, if everything goes
Last week Oracle made the surprising move
to enforce the first trial to look solely at the copyright
infringement claims, mostly Google’s perceived usage of Java in the
Android platform. FOSS Patents reported that Judge William
Alsup rejected this approach, deeming it a “piecemeal approach” and
a “luxury” the court’s scarce resources don’t allow. Google had
previously advocated a halt in the proceedings of Oracle’s patent
claims push and didn’t think much of their proposals, barely diginifying it with a response at
However, one of Oracle’s three proposals was to to take
both the copyright and patent infringement claims to trial this
spring, and this now looks a distinct possibility. Meanwhile, their
offer to waive their right for a third damages report has been
shunned by the judge, as he would prefer a resolution in the
valuation of damages from Oracle.
Alsup is hopeful that the trial can go ahead as soon as
possible, despite the recent contests over the trial structuring.
Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents gave his view on recent events, and
supported Oracle’s decision:
I think Oracle still did the right thing by making its proposal
for a streamlining of the case. If nothing else, it at least showed
to the judge that Oracle is very serious about its pressing need
for this case to be resolved soon. If Oracle hadn’t demonstrated
this with an action that spoke louder than words (by action I mean
its formal offer to have the patent infringement claims stayed or
dismissed without prejudice, and its offer to waive its right to
revise its damages report), I’m not sure Judge Alsup would have
offered the same way forward.
It appears that Oracle will accept this offer from the judge, a
fair compromise in terms of what they wanted. But as ever, it could
be highly unlikely that we’ll see this case meet that April
deadline. With so many delays previously and both sides resistant
to budging, we may not see a resolution for a while. If it hasn’t
dragged along already, expect it to for the rest of 2012.