SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Oracle has asked the court to drop its Java patent infringement claims against Google.
Oracle and Google are in a legal battle with Oracle claiming Google infringed copyrights on Java APIs and infringed its Java patents with Android. In the latest twist Oracle said it is willing to stay or dismiss its patent infringement claims against Google in a bid to get its copyright infringement case in front of a jury before the end of 2012.
Oracle tried to defend its expert's damages reports that the judge found largely deficient and decided to forego submitting a third attempt, with Groklaw's Mark Webbink speculating that any third report "is almost certainly to contain the same defects as the first two".
Oracle also suggested that US District Court Judge William Alsup could "dismiss the patent claims without prejudice and set a date certain for the trial of copyright liability and copyright damages for spring 2012, followed by a hearing on Oracle's request for a copyright injunction if Oracle prevails on liability".
Google has filed challenges to Oracle's Java patents at the US Patent and Trademark Office, which has invalidated many of Oracle's patent claims. In effect, dismissing those patents in the present lawsuit would enable Oracle to start over in a later lawsuit, in front of another judge.
In a surprise detail, Oracle also claimed that Sun Microsystems was looking to get into the smartphone game. Oracle wrote, "Sun had plans and the means to use that intellectual property to develop a smartphone platform that would have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues. These plans were undermined by Google's release of an incompatible Android for free."
Oracle's claim that Sun was looking to develop a smartphone operating system is an interesting one given that the firm's Java Mobile Edition was hardly setting the world alight when Apple's IOS came out, let alone Google's Android. It will be interesting to see what, if any, evidence Oracle has to back up this statement.
The Oracle versus Google Android battle has stalled twice over arguments about the amount of damages. Whether Oracle's latest ploy will result in any of its patent claims being put in front of a jury is unclear at this point. µ