Oracle get nothing. They lose. Good day sir.

Google to pay $0 statutory damages to Oracle in Android lawsuit

Chris Mayer

Oracle have seemingly cut their loses in the protracted Android trial, accepting zero damages in court – pending appeal

Three weeks on from suffering a hammer blow in the drawn-out Java API infringement, Oracle have decided to draw a line under the damages phase, accepting zero dollars worth of damages from Google.

Oracle could have sought another astronomical figure for the small amount of code that was found to be infringing (those nine lines within millions of the Android codebase), but opted against it, having already ploughed in several millions into this case already. It’s another bitter pill for Oracle to swallow, having lost the vital ruling that held that the structure of the 37 Java APIs within Android couldn’t be copyrighted at all. All in all, this trial has been a massive bust for Oracle, settling on no damages with Google – quite a drastic markdown from the $6.1bn originally sought by the tech giant.

Michael Jacobs, Oracle’s lead attorney, told the judge on Wednesday that the two had come to an agreement on the infringement, to which Judge William Alsup (the coding judge overseeing proceedings) replied, ”Is there a catch I need to be aware of?” such has been the hazy nature of this trial so far.

There could be an ulterior motive at hand here for Oracle – realising that they weren’t going to get much for those nine lines, they perhaps wanted to speed onto the appeal process where they’d have a much better chance of getting a decision go their way.

There’s not really a catch here – the 25 minute session, notably a lot less tetchy than 3 weeks earlier, was a formality aimed to speed up Oracle’s appeal process. If Oracle’s appeal is successful, we may finally see a damages phase occur and them back in Alsup’s courtroom. 

“It seems out of character for us to have any short hearing in this case,” Alsup said after the proposal was made, to which Oracle’s attorney Jacobs joked, ”I hope we see you again after an appeal.” All the fun of the fairground in the courtroom for a change – this trial ain’t over yet, with a lengthy Oracle appeal set to begin in due course.

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