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Oracle Accepts $0 From Google, But Plans Appeal

by Charles Humble on Jun 21, 2012 |

Oracle has agreed to accept $0 worth of damages from Google, after Oracle's legal team agreed in court yesterday to forego any statutory damages in connection with its infringement case against Google. "Is there a catch I need to be aware of?" asked Judge William Alsup, according to the IDG News Service.

Oracle's case essentially collapsed after Alsup ruled in May that APIs were not eligible for copyright protection under US law, and the jury found that Google had not infringed any of Oracle's patents. The only infringements that were found related to the rangeCheck code in TimSort.java and ComparableTimSort.java, and the eight decompiled files that were found in Google's Android code.

Statutory damages for these would have amounted to just $300,000, considerably less than the $6 billion in damages Oracle has been seeking for copyright infringement. As a result, Oracle's legal team presumably took the view that it made sense to get the trial over with as quickly as possible, and move on to the appeal, where it will attempt to overturn Alsup's earlier decisions; in particular relating to whether APIs can be copyrighted.

If Oracle wins its appeal, parts of the case may be returned to Alsup's court. "I hope we see you again after an appeal," Jacobs (Oracle's lead attorney) joked, getting laughter from the court. For its part, Google has indicated that it will seek to recover some of its legal costs in the case. Jacobs indicated that Oracle will contest this request. Google has 14 days to file for the legal costs, and Alsup will decide whether it gets them.

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