Monday, March 14, 2011

Google is denied right to fight Oracle

Google’s attempt to have Oracle’s case against it dismissed has failed. Google had claimed that the “issues are ripe and can be decided without further discovery as a matter of law.” However, the US district judge, William Alsup, thought otherwise and certainly did not think all avenues for the case had been exhausted.

"The motion is not ripe because discovery may well reveal additional evidence of copying," Alsup said. "Oracle's copyright-infringement contentions, which are the target of Google's proposed motion, represent only a snapshot of our case taken at the time they were submitted."

Oracle claims the magnitude of the copying is already in question. Possibly up to one third of its Java Packages containing “numerous class files, each of which is protectable by copyright” may have been used by Google. "Thus, contrary to Google's 'we only took a little bit' argument, Google derived its Android code from the specifications for hundreds of Oracle's copyrighted Java files."

Oracle are obviously standing firm, and as the company also claim that there were Google Android developers who had worked for Sun, or had access to ‘proprietary Oracle materials’, it is not looking good for Google.

Google had requested that certain patents be re-examined, possibly to drag out the case. Florian Mueller, founder of the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, explained how even if the case was stalled Oracle could bring about an import ban against the major Android device makers, or even sue Google in other jurisdictions.

“Apple and Nokia are duking it out not only in the US but also in three European countries. Some of the patents Oracle asserts against Google have Chinese, Japanese and European counterparts,"

It appears that Google may have run dry of ‘get out’ clauses.

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