Oracle reduces damages to "hundreds of millions", drops patent in Android lawsuit

Oracle reduces damages to "hundreds of millions", drops patent in Android lawsuit
According to legal news website Groklaw, Oracle suffered a 1-2 punch last week that will leave them scrambling to recover as they pick up the scraps of their lawsuit against Google’s Android operating system.

First, Oracle withdrew their ‘476 patent from the case, the patent that the USPTO deemed invalid back in December. Google had already asked for permission to file for summary dismissal of the patent in light of the USPTO’s actions, and Oracle apparently did not see any light at the end of that tunnel, so they withdrew it from the case.

Second, and perhaps more damning, Oracle’s third damages report (the judge found that the first two to be intentionally inflated beyond reason) was filed, and completely undermines the astronomical figures that Oracle had been touting through the latter half of 2011. Rather than the $5-6 billion dollars that Oracle bandied about in the first two damage reports, in this one their own damages expert found that the patents were worth at most worth $57.1 million in damages, while the copyright was worth at most $169 million.

For those of you without calculators handy, that is $226 million in damages - as a best case scenario - from Oracles’ own damages report. To put that in perspective, it’s about 4% of the damages Oracle tried to claim last year. And that’s presuming they win, which doesn’t appear certain at all at this point. Google is still objecting to these numbers, and has filed a counter-report claiming that Oracle's math is still “riddled with fatal errors” that inflate the numbers.

So in short, things continue to turn sour for Oracle’s attack on Android. It’s down to 5 patents (which are also under review by the USPTO), questionable application of copyright to APIs, and a best-case-scenario of $226 million in damages. Which isn’t chump change, but it also isn’t an amount that Google couldn’t afford to write a check for.

Oracle’s only serious hope for a big paycheck now is if they can get an injunction against Android – the threat of stopping all Android distribution would certainly give Oracle the upper hand – but as the damage amount falls and more IP is thrown out or called into question, that eventuality appears less and less likely.

source: Groklaw via 9to5Google


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