There was some good news for Google to come out of its long running court battle with Oracle yesterday as the Jury returned from a week of deliberations that relate to patent infringement on Oracles Java Patents. It is important to remember that this is in opposition of the related Copyright Infringement that relates to the similarities in the Android API and the standard Java APIs.
So does this mean that things are finally over between these Tech Giants and both companies can get back to building quality software for all of us to enjoy…well not quite. Even though the Damages part of the trial have been cancelled by the judge, Oracle is not likely to leave this alone.
Oracle is likely to appeal the Patent case and seek a retrial on the Copyright case but really…can’t we finally just focus on moving forward? I look back 2 years ago when Oracle started beating its chest and saying that they would bring down Android and Google for its infringement. A history of this case and the Patents involved can be found at the End Software Patents site.
It is refreshing to see that this case has come and gone and regardless of the final outcome or the number of appeals that happen I think that a lesson has been brought to light…Software Patents while they may have served a purpose during the early days of computer programming…have been far removed from actual real world relevance as technology has moved so far ahead of the ability of the courts and the government to maintain any semblance of order within the process. This case took 2 years to go to trial and it is estimated that Oracle spent more than $10 Million in preparing for a case that it lost and Google has amassed legal bills of similar size but what does a 6 week trial cost the tax payers of the United States?
Well…I for one hope that this is the end and that Patent Reform can begin sooner rather than later. 2 years wasted on both sides…if either Google or Oracle would like to waste another $15-20 Million…I think I can arrange for some swamp land for you. Just make the check payable to Chris J Powell.
Chris J Powell