updated 11:10 pm EDT, Tue May 15, 2012
Phase two of trial complete, damages could start Wednesday
The same California jury that couldn't decide on the "fair use" aspects of the Google versus Oracle is now debating Oracle's patent claims. Oracle began this suit in 2010, claiming that Android infringes on its Java patents. Google says that it has not infringed and furthermore, Oracle can't copyright certain parts of Java, an open source language. Closing arguments were made today in phase two of the three-phase, multi-year trial.
Judge William Alsup told both parties in court today that he didn't think Oracle would be able to prove how the infringed code helped enough to warrant disgorgement of profits. Judge Alsup indicated that he has experience with computer programming and coding in the past, and said that he could personally verify the nine lines in rangeCheck duplicated in Android would take five minutes to assemble.
Alsup maintained his point of view that Oracle is "going on a fishing expedition" with damages if it is after a disgorgement (a share) of infringer's profits. Oracle is required to inform the court detailing how the infringed code contributes to Android's success by 9PM PDT (Midnight EST) on Tuesday.
Both Larry Page and Eric Schmidt are on Oracle's witness list for the next phase of the damages phase, which could start as early as this week. Google attorney Daniel Purcell stated that it may be impossible and unnecessary to call the current and ex-CEO. Alsup clearly didn't care about the timing, and responded that if they are subpoenaed, then they need to be at the court as ordered.
Oracle has sought as much as $2 billion dollars in copyright damages. On March 29, Google offered a $2.8 million damage settlement on the two patents remaining. Furthermore, Google proposed a .5 percent of revenue until the patent expires in December and .015 percent on a second patent until it expires in 2018. Oracle rejected the settlement offer. As the case continues, it has become less about monetary damages for Oracle, and more about defending its copyrights.