Battle of the Giants – Oracle v Google

March 29, 2016 Published by

There have been some new developments in the long running stoush between Google and Oracle.

Shortly after acquiring Sun Microsystems in 2010, Oracle sued Google for copyright infringement, accusing Google of copying the Java language APIs (or application programming interfaces) in its Android product.

In 2015, Oracle successfully contended that software interfaces (the way software interfaces with other code) could be protected by copyright in addition to the software itself.  At that time, the trial jury was deadlocked over whether the Android infringement could constitute fair use of Oracle’s copyright.

The case is set for trial in May, and in the meantime, Oracle has been presenting evidence to support its call for damages and an account of profits.

In January, Oracle revealed Google had made profits of $22bn since launching Android in 2008, much to Google’s chagrin.  It has now filed evidence of its expert witness James Malackowski, who has produced an analysis which concludes that Oracle is owed $475m in damages and up to $8.8bn in profits.

Google however wants the court to dismiss Malackowski’s evidence, claiming he ‘ignores the statutory standard for copyright damages and fails to offer anything resembling an expert analysis…’

In the meantime, presiding Judge Alsup has proposed restricting the parties’ lawyers from researching the juror’s online social media profiles and other online presence.  He has stated:

‘Trial judges have such respect for juries — reverential respect would not be too strong to say — that it must pain them to contemplate that, in addition to the sacrifice jurors make for our country, they must suffer trial lawyers and jury consultants scouring over their Facebook and other profiles to dissect their politics, religion, relationships, preferences, friends, photographs, and other personal information.’

He’s asked both sides to inform the court today whether they’ll consent to the ban on internet research into the jury members.

We will keep you posted on any further developments.

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