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14 May 2012, 11:34

Patent phase of Oracle vs Google trial winding down

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As Oracle's litigation against Google over copyright and patent violations in Android goes on, all sides seem determined to end the lawsuit sooner rather than later. Judge William Alsup has overruled the jury in another matter of copyright infringement, and the patent phase of the suit is expected to end some time this week.

On Friday, Judge Alsup overruled a part of the jury's earlier decision about Google not having infringed on Oracle's copyrights by copying eight files of Java test code. Google's defence, accepted by the jury, was that this test code was not substantial enough and the copying was de minimis. The judge rejected this as "a matter of law" noting that "the copied files even as test files would have been significant use". This is added to the nine lines of the rangeCheck method that Google has already been found to infringe, but the infringing material is still only a small percentage of the total code in the Android code base.

With the technical hearings on patent issues almost concluded, the patent phase of the lawsuit is expected to end early this week. The court will then move on to the discussion of damages, and a decision. After Google attorney Matthias Kamber noted he was ready to end their part of the patent deliberations for the day, Judge Alsup remarked: "I think that's a grand idea".

Both Oracle's and Google's legal teams seemed determined to wrap up the case as efficiently as possible on Friday. The Verge reports that, after Judge Alsup requested a signed document detailing their plans, attorneys from both parties met in the courtroom to discuss how to proceed with the rest of the lawsuit. Over the weekend, Oracle filed a motion for postponement of the damages phase, however, adding that it would also prefer a new jury for that part of the case. This is most likely due to Judge Alsup's earlier indications that Oracle was not likely to receive the amount of damages it had expected when entering the lawsuit.


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