updated 05:45 pm EST, Tue February 21, 2012
Oracle 'streamlines' Google case, revises damages
The long-running lawsuit between Oracle and Google over patents relating to Android has been significantly revised by plaintiff Oracle.The company dropped a key point of contention in the 476 patent, claim 14, related to Java. Google has previously asked a judge to file a motion for summary judgment of invalidity of claim 14 and the USPTO ruled to toss it out late last year so the patent would get thrown out anyhow. Oracle explained it dropped the claim in order to streamline the case.
The amount of monetary damages Oracle is seeking also appears to have changed, but is less definitive as it makes reference to minimum values. While the final patent damage figures are described as ranging from $17 million to $57.1 million under the group and value approach, they are "at least" $43.7 million under the independent significance approach. Similarly, the so-called "alternative total damages figures for both patent and copyright infringement" are estimated at between $52.4 million and $169 million under the group and value approach and "at least $129.2 million" under the independent significance approach.
This revision, now the third, follows up on earlier numbers, including the original $6.1 billion claim and the second, $2.6 billion estimate from Oracle's expert witness, Iain Cockburn.
Google isn't expected to have much chance at denying patent violations in Android now that an incriminating e-mail is being allowed into the case. However, it has been fighting to minimize the potential damages and successfully arranged for the trial to be split into three phases, where it can either minimize the payout if it's successful or settle quickly if it decides one phase went too far in Oracle's favor. [via Groklaw]