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Oracle drops a patent and lowers its damages estimate against Google

Oracle's shambles continue to cost it dearly
Mon Feb 20 2012, 17:16

ENTERPRISE VENDOR Oracle has dropped one of the Java patents it claimed Google infringed in Android and significantly reduced its damages estimate.

Google and Oracle have been at each other's throats for the best part of 18 months with Oracle initially claiming Google infringed seven of its Java patents in the Android operating system. The two parties have been arguing over the validity of patents and the amount of damages, among other things. Oracle has withdrawn its patent 6192476, saying the move is part of the firm's "continuing effort to streamline the case for trial and make best use of the Court's and parties' resources".

Oracle's decision to drop the patent from its lawsuit against Google follows the US Patent and Trademark Office decision to reject 17 of the 21 claims of the patent.

Oracle's 'expert' witness Iain Cockburn has been repeatedly asked to revise his estimate of damages sought from Google. The original figure of over $2.5bn was blasted by Judge William Alsup and reports are that the latest estimate tops out at $168m, a figure that Google maintains is still inflated.

The Cockburn report has diminished Oracle's case against Google. The repeated revisions required by the court strongly suggest that Oracle didn't do its research before filing suit against Google and that it still doesn't have a clue what, if any, damages it might be due in the event it prevails at trial.

Google has thus far whittled away much of Oracle's complaint before trial, and it's not done yet. Oracle's shambolic presentation so far calls into question whether it was wise to sue Google in the first place, and even if Oracle wins it could wind up costing Oracle a huge amount of cash. µ


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