The latest from the bitter spat between Oracle and Google

Oracle withdraws patent and reduces damages heavily in Android patent case

Chris Mayer

Oracle have reassessed their claims in order to ‘streamline the case’ dropping the last patent claim and reducing their damages. But Google still aren’t happy.

Another week, another development in the Oracle-Google court
case. This development however could have huge ramifications for
Oracle, after withdrawing one patent from their six filed against
Google and greatly reducing their damage calculation.

Firstly, in a letter to Judge
Alsup, Oracle have chosen to file a motion for summary
judgment of invalidity of Claim 14 of U.S. Patent No. 6,192,476,
citing that they wanted to ‘streamline’ the case. This leaves
Oracle with five cases filed against Google for the use of Java
patents in their Android platform. From the outset it could be
suggested that Oracle’s case against Google is weakening, having
reduced the number of patents from seven to five and the
number of claims from 132 to just 14.

Google also responded to the
third damages report
by Oracle’s damages expert Iain Cockburn
and have again stated that Cockburn has overstated the value of the
patents. Despite coming to a valuation of between $129
million and $169 million (a huge reduction on the original $6.1
billion estimated by Oracle), Google say that the ‘report remains
riddled with fatal flaws’, arguing that Cockburn’s methodology is

Cockburn offers two alternatives of apprortionment. The
first being the ‘independent significance’ method which Google
calls ‘smoke and mirrors’, accusing Cockburn of throwing everything
together to inflate the actual value of Oracle’s case. The second
method, entitled ‘group and value approach’ is also flawed
according to Google as five engineers were asked to rank the value
of importance of the infringing patents. Groklaw agrees with this
faulty method of attaining data:

The Oracle engineers themselves confirm that they
had no technical basis for translating their qualitative judgment
into quantitative valuations. Dr. Reinhold confirmed that the
engineers did no quantitative assessment, and that such an
assessment would require significant and repeated performance
testing of each patent’s functionality.

goes through the nitty gritty of Google’s response, showing that
their lawyers have the eyes of a hawk providing compelling evidence
to disregard Cockburn’s valuation. The question remains, are Oracle
in a losing battle here? Their original stance has pretty much been
torn to pieces by Google, greatly reducing their original
assessment from billions to a little over $100m now. And that could
be set to change. For all their want of ‘streamlining’ the case,
it’s going to be a while yet before we come to a valuation that
Judge Alsup will agree with.

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