Google had pushed for a fall trial date at the earliest but Oracle argued vigorously (and successfully) for an immediate date on grounds that the case was ready with Google only playing for time. To induce the judge to give it an early trial date, Oracle offered to dismiss with prejudice all patents that had been rejected in a final office action by the USPTO subject to reinstatement in the event the PTO reversed itself prior to the start of trial. Trial started on April 16 and, lo and behold, the PTO did reverse itself concerning one significant patent (the '702 patent) such that Oracle would normally have been able to pursue its claims for infringement based on that patent. However, it did so a few days after the trial had started. As a result, that claim wound up being finally dismissed for purposes of this lawsuit. Oracle tried to renege and pushed the judge to reinstate the claim but the judge said no (decision here: (http://www.scribd.com/doc/91307218/Oracle-denied-using-reviv...).
Thus, Oracle screwed itself as a result of having charged full speed with tomahawk swinging wildly in the air. In pushing aggressively for tactical advantage, it essentially threw away the one patent claim that had any potential for viability (the two patent claims on which it lost at trial were in fact relatively weak, with one of the two patents about to go down before the USPTO and set in any event to expire in December, among other things).
Oracle now finds itself in a deep hole. It won a few crumbs in the copyright phase and got skunked on the patent phase. More copyright drama to follow as the judge rules on API copyrightability. Oracle might win on that issue, as it is a tricky one under Ninth Circuit law (see http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3980642), but it then faces a retrial in which the judge would give much more refined instructions on what it means to infringe the SSO of the Java APIs than he gave in the first trial - between that and the (I think, formidable) fair use defense that Google has, it is strictly an uphill fight for Oracle from here on out. (By the way, Google has done a masterful job of arguing the issue of why APIs should not be copyrightable and, for those inclined to read through a superb legal brief on the issues, here it is: http://www.groklaw.net/pdf3/OraGoogle-1137.pdf).
Oracle may yet rally if a lot of things go its way. I wouldn't bet on it though. Much more likely, in my view, is that the case becomes a testament to what happens when a party makes a high-stakes opportunistic legal grab that goes badly awry. What Larry Ellison set out to justify as Oracle's vindication has instead become Oracle's folly.
I assume this bodes well for Google, given that you've said the precedents are difficult to manage if one wants APIs not to be copyrightable.
In your view, what's the best ruling we could hope for? What are the judge's options (if any) if he thinks that the precedents in his circuit are out of line with those everywhere else? Does all of that have to be decided at a higher level? Or is there some fine line he can walk to distinguish the other cases from this case?
If the judge cannot reach such factual conclusions from the evidence, then he is left with concluding that the SSO of the APIs as represented in Java do have expressive elements and are hence protected by copyright. This would mean a retrial with instructions given to the jury much as before and with a heavy fight over fair use.
Of course, in the end, who really knows. It is clear that the judge has done extensive homework on this and that is perhaps the best sign that the decision will be well thought out. Only time will tell.
This puts me in mind of when you were telling me that some people get addicted to litigation to the point of losing interest in product development.
As for the yacht race lawsuit, Larry was effectively able to rest control of the most prestigious yacht race in the world via the court room when he couldn't on the water. The lawsuit dragged on for several years but ultimately it is setup Larry winning the championship and bringing it to San Fransico.
"dismiss with prejudice"
What does 'with prejudice' imply here? I've seen this used many times in various government/legal contexts ('cancelled without prejudice') etc...
What does the 'with/without prejudice' part mean?
In practice, I don't know how that would work out for them, but they might be able to squeeze some cash out of Android OEMs the way Microsoft does. Of course, having lost on patents in this case weakens their bargaining position substantially.
I guess you could consider that another way Oracle screwed themselves by charging full speed ahead.
Sooner or later, somebody is going to fight Microsoft in a court of law, with counterclaims of patent infringement by Microsoft. And now that Google has grown teeth with the Motorola acquisition and with this apparent victory against Oracle, I'm seeing Android OEMs starting to fight back.
I believe the only issue still on the table is API copyrightability which Judge Aslup will rule on as a matter of law. The jury found for Oracle in that instance because the jury instructions essentially mandated it. I expect Aslup will rule for Google on that claim as well.
Oracle's current claim for money is literally for 9 lines of code called rangeCheck (which anyone in a high school intro to java class could write), and 8 test files copied by a subcontractor and never distributed to end users.
A certain Oracle paid blogger will still manage to post how Oracle basically got everything it wanted.
It's easy to knock the courts, but I think it's worth remembering that becoming a federal judge is very difficult and most of these guys have impressive backgrounds.
I called Florian as a corporate shill here more than a year ago based on publicly available information. I believe him "outing himself" is more recent.
Edit: Also pj called it.
Who cares if Florian is being paid by Microsoft et al ? It happens all the time amongst bloggers and doesn't mean jack to me. EVERYONE is biassed in some way. Whether through money, previous experiences or external pressures. As a reader you should always consult multiple sources.
It's been really disappointing watching the great work that Groklaw do be sullied by all these personal attacks.
(And for what it is worth, Mueller actually provided genuinely informative coverage of many of the issues - which made him all the more effective).
His "bully pulpit" was the blog once named "Free and Open Source Patents" (FOSS) and he leveraged some earlier open source advocacy to lend credibility to his shilling in the present case.
(Notice that the name is now seems to be changed at the site). One can however, easily find references on the web billing Mueller as an expert on "Free and Open Source Patents".
Edit: Added "seems" at bottom
There are degrees of bias and as a reader why would you want to waste your time reading from a source known to have a massive conflict of interest?
I definitely appreciate knowing about a source's bias.
Florian repeatedly refused to talk about his funding and insisted it was irrelevant (he has a history at lwn.net among other places). Now that we know the full context, people on the other side of that argument naturally want to underline it.
Are you out of your mind? I do, for one. A lot of people think this is a significant issue.
So if Florian made up a pseudonym like PJ did, and posted articles only with it, he would have avoided your scrutiny of publicly available info and "outing" and all that, right?
>Put up evidence or shut up.
There is no way for the common person do that,
So the moral of the story is there is that Florian should made sure that there was no public information about him like PJ very successfully did and he would've been shielded from all the shill accusations like PJ is now? It's funny to to see Groklaw lob the accusations while not revealing anything about PJ that will allow someone to do some research like you did.
The thing about the Internet and anonymity is that an anonymous web of trust really can tell you who someone is better than some single professional achievement. Both Florian and pj have a "trail" because if you work with people you can't avoid a trail. Pj's trail will tell you basically who she is just as Florian's will. Florian may have a blog titled "open source patents" but his trail of activity as corporate consultant tells a different story. Further, Mueller's efforts to spin information using his supposed open source credentials required that his identity be known and touted. As far as I know pj has always let her research speak for itself.
So.. as I said, if he hadn't associated his blog with his corporate consultant activity, he would be doing just fine right? The pseudonym's trail would've simply not have his original identity in it.
>As far as I know pj has always let her research speak for itself.
Mueller could also have just let his research speak for itself while hiding behind a pseudonym.
If an anonymous blogger posts what Florian does, his named would be dragged through the mud by the same people who are commenting here who would be asking him to disclose who he is and who pays him. Yes or no?
So basically, and please excuse the language, you appear to be talking complete and utter shit.
But yes, Pamela was reactivated specially for this case. It took a little over three days to warm the reanimation capsule back to room temperature after retrieving it from the catacombs beneath Geneva Airport. Apparently Pamela was extremely annoyed. She had been hoping to stay dormant until at least 2063, so that she could make a killing on some SpaceX investments. Or so I am told.
Perhaps not, but I'm pretty sure that the firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner should have been able to find some evidence by now, since this is the second trial where PJ has documented their loss in exquisite detail.
I demand disclosure. Your full name, your address, your phone, bank, and tax records for the past year, social security statement, and a sworn affidavit that you have never been paid by, had any financial interest in, or were related to anyone with an interest in, IBM, SCO, Oracle, Google, Novell, and any media outlet that has ever given critical or favorable coverage to any of these companies.
If you don't comply within 24 hours, I'll assume you're simply a troll and paid shill.
Edit: Downvoters may want to consult "cooldeal"'s other comments on this very page for context. I'm simply demanding of him what he demands of others.
See, this is the exact attitude I am talking about. Anyone even questioning PJ's funding sources is immediately vilified, hated on and modded down to death. While the same about Florian are modded up to the sky and it's totally okay to do that since he's not batting on your side, even if he's the one that has disclosed his interests.
Eh? Of course there is. It is called investigatory journalism and it is a lot of work.
Also, I think you may have the moral of the story wrong.
Or does that mean that I should ignore anyone who is being paid by a company. Because that would be almost everyone, right ?
His "FOSS advocacy" for the last few years has consistently been solely cheering for every patent and copyright suit against open source software.
"Or does that mean that I should ignore anyone who is being paid by a company."
Being paid for PR that borders astroturfing and refusing to disclose that is over the line for me.
Also with no evidence of PJ being paid by Google, it would seem to be an unfair assumption to make.
Meanwhile, not a single downmod(and probably many upvotes) on someone calling Florian a dick and a bastard(so much for HN etiquette).
I give, Florian Mueller is a bastard, can I too get some karma?
Sorry, you have to mean it.
I downvoted your post (above) as well for the same reasons.
The jury decided Google "infringed", but couldn't agree whether the fair use defense applied.
If Alsup rules APIs are not copyrightable, the fair use defense is moot and we're done (barring appeal, which will surely happen), but if he were to go the other way, fair use may have to be re-litigated in front of a new jury.
Dan Levine @FedcourtJunkie:
We all just interviewed juror, who said jury was split 9-3 for google on copyright fair use. Um, wow.
> Juror said it was his opinion that more tech savvy jurors were less likely to go for limits on openness. Ie they were pro google
This really says it all. Ultimately Oracle can only win if the jury is borderline luddite.
If you'd asked me what the count was likely to be, I probably would have told you something like 10-2 for Oracle.
I saw a comment from Grellas on a prior story that said that the judge has some crazy precedents to deal with in his circuit and they can't freely adopt the Borland case's logic without dealing with them. I'd like to know how the request for briefs on Sony v. Connectix figures into that. Is that case from the same circuit? If so, that would really make me believe that he's working on a pro-Google ruling. After all, it shouldn't be that hard to come up with a finding of infringement. You only have a lot of justification to do if you want to find non-infringement.
Finally, I wonder what, if any, the impact of the juror telling us that is was 9-3 in favor of Google will be. Does that help support a finding of fair use or not?
That said, I'm glad to hear that Google has been cleared of infringing upon these absurd patents. I just hope they still get invalidated too, so that no one else ever has to worry about them.
A (flawed) analogy would be if it were a case around the copyright infringement of a book whereby the author, at a new company, copied the phrase "Table of Contents" from a previous novel and pasted it into his new book's table of contents at the head of the page. Anyone with half a brain that understands the domain of writing realizes this is elementary and outside of the scope of what constitutes real, novel IP. Arguing such a point reveals you want to exploit the ignorance of your audience to not know that "Table of Contents" is a phrase used in the industry and obvious to come up with on your own to describe that part of the book. Basically, once the jig is up and the audience knows you're full of it, every claim you make downstream from there ("I know it would take me months to be able to write rangeCheck") makes you look even worse.
The reason this is memorable to me is it makes it as transparent as one could hope as to who in the room was arguing based upon reality, and who was arguing to win. For a software company to do this is an embarrassment since we are supposed to be increasing computer literacy not exploit computer illiteracy to our own advantage.
Next up, the appeal.
Google quite intentionally steered away from any certified or branded Java because they wanted Sun asserting no control over them (in some of the "Damning" evidence there were internal discussions where Google talks about ignoring licensing not because of financial costs, but because it put Sun at the wheel). J2ME was the disaster it was because of Sun's guardianship.
Android is not Sun. It borrows from some of the tools out of convenience, and uses some of the conventions, but no one is under any illusion that it is the same platform.
Oracle are the rotting enterprise dinosaur that refuses to accept evolution and adapt or just die. The patent system is a absolute joke.
>If the jury and judge had ruled that API's were copyrightable, who knows what that could have done to sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any other site that relies on a third party framework, library or piece of code to functionally operate.
The jury did see that Google infringed copyright by implementing the APIs, however this doesn't impact others in the way you've stated because using an API isn't the same as copying someone else's, and even then it was still narrowly defined.
>Oracle are the rotting enterprise dinosaur that refuses to accept evolution and adapt or just die.
This isn't all true, while I'm certain their motivation was not in the right place to begin with, the case they brought did have merits regarding the fragmentation of java. (As there are similarities to the microsoft case.)
Because the outcome of this trial was never going to be a never-ending stream of bountiful royalties for Oracle. It would be a one off damages payment from Google, a complete re-engineering of Android to systematically work around whatever infringement was found, and widescale abandonment and damage to the Java ecosystem and brand.
In my opinion Android has provided a lifeline to Java at a time when it was otherwise being abandoned wholesale by the next generation of programmers. It has kept new, intelligent young people learning the language for long enough for Oracle to bridge the widening gap between Java and other languages with Java7 and hopefully Java8. (Whether Oracle actually pulls this off is up to them ... but thanks to Android they have the opportunity).
Also Java is a (unfortunate IMHO) defacto-standard in enterprise software. The alternatives are .NET or GTFO, really. This is not changing any time soon... Java does not need Android in any real sense (though does help it).
Oh, totally agree, but
> "not changing any time soon"
It may still take a while but I think it'll greatly hasten Java's demise if new / young people aren't learning it.
What I really wanted to buy, I see now, was Google stock. But it didn't exist at that point and when Google's IPO came along a few years later I didn't have enough discretionary income to bother.
Perhaps that's the point of view that LockeWatts is coming from. I certainly would feel weird purchasing stock in certain companies, like tobacco companies, though mutual funds I own probably have some of their stock. The way Oracle's behaving many people might feel similarly about them.
If I'd gone on, I would have suggested that Oracle is a for-profit company, and generally tends to act as one would expect them to. They are beholden to their shareholders to maximize value. I could see an argument for disagreeing with the notion of patents in general, and would respect a person for saying "I won't hold stock in Oracle as I feel they leverage the patent sytem, which I don't agree with."
What I took issue with was the idea of sitting in judgement of someone else for not sharing those values, and by extension, making the implied assertion that holding stock in Oracle is evil.
It should probably be noted that I'm not on my best behavior today, but at least as far as I know, Oracle isn't doing anything clearly evil, like killing children, or worshiping Satan (though I could see the debatability of even those, really).
I could also surmise that probably quite a few people sharing the stance of socially responsible investing probably hold stock in Apple, a company that also leverages the patent system, as well as (in my opinion, though I don't intend to debate it until I've 'exhaled the bad air, and inhaled the good') engaging in exploitative work practices via FoxConn and such.
All this is of course conjecture, as the grandparent may have had a perfectly good reason for having asked the question that has nothing to do with this, and I am at least trying to allow room for that assumption. Either way, I think it deserves more dialog, which is why I asked the question.
Thanks for the post though. I didn't know that there was a term coined for such behavior, so I've learned that at least.
I mean what exactly has Oracle done wrong other than sue Google to try and make them pay royalties for their use of Java. No different to every other IT company that is suing right now.
Is this a record?
I suspect a lot of people (like me) are following this closely so as soon as there is news it gets voted up here.
Glad the jury found in Google's favor, I think that was the right call. And I really hope that Judge Alsup finds that APIs are not copywritable, Still waiting on that one.
Oracle literally tried to present dexopt as a dynamic optimizer, because it optimizes for the hardware/software configuration on your smartphone. Thats coming from the makers of the HotSpot VM.
It was all about Oracle extracting licensing fees from Google.
Therefore, it stands to reason that any decision made, whether for or against Google, could effect future decisions for companies involved in similar suits.
I think, in this particular instance, a decision against Google could have set a terrible precedent.
There were legitimate issues to be discussed and it made the entire software industry think about what it means for an API to be copyrighted, defense of software patents etc. This decision has set a precedent that we may not see repeated again.
I say it was absolutely worth it.
This case is not over.
Is it because it will deter future litigation?
If yes, does that imply that there is a business advantage to avoiding litigation?
What would Alsup say about this case? As a programmer who is also a judge did he think there were really legitimate issues here that needed to be resolved?
I guess some see issues, and lack of clarity, where others do not. I see extremely weak claims and a very large legal budget. That's just me.
You may be right. If this makes things clearer, then it has value.
So should we thank Oracle for bringing the suit?
While we're at it, I'd like to thank Burroughs Corp. for all the early precedent they gave us.
I think most people should be much more questionable about groklaw. I am big open source and FSF advocate, but I'm not above thinking that groklaw is controlled/funded by a much larger power.
I hope it's just a conspiracy theory. But I do think that anonymity works both ways; it can imply that you want to say the truth unencumbered, but it also can imply astroturfing.
Just because the wind blows this way doesn't mean it always will.
Proof? Anything? This line has been used since the early days of SCO. I've never seen anything resembling proof.
Indeed, Groklaw has earned the trust I give them. Do not mistake ignorance for insightfulness.
Let me know when you find one.
Patent protection has promoted the free sharing
of source code on a patentee’s terms---which has
fueled the explosive growth of open source software
b) That estimate was exactly that. An estimate. I never read any mainstream media site that took a strong position that Google was going to win.
I've heard this before, and it is usually the shills that spout that line.
And? Either his data is correct and forthright or incorrect and misleading. It's quite possible to be biased as fuck and still report objective fact. Until such time as the data skews, I don't particularly care what flag he flies.
It may not be "murderer" or "child molester" evil, but it's still pretty unethical and it's unethical behavior done in the name of "FOSS". We have a right and responsibility to police our own.
The reason PJ is respected here and in other places is because more often than not... she's right (especially from the perspective of helping programmers understand the foreign and alien legal system).
PJ is consistently correct in ways that are good for software development. It has less to do with who pays whom and more to do with who is correct.
The distaste is magnified when someone is paid to be wrong but the ultimate source of the distaste that they are wrong.
Florian's hand was ultimately forced because it is impractical to keep consulting for multiple large companies a secret.
So far, no one has ever found any evidence that PJ is anything other than what she says she is -- a Linux user and former paralegal. Even when Maureen O'Gara thought it'd be a good idea to stalk her and publish everything to the world, no evidence of any kind came to light.
You are proposing a criminal (yes, criminal, perjury is a crime, and sworn statements as to PJ's lack of involvement with IBM were filed in the SCO case) conspiracy spanning at least multiple large public companies, a well-known law professor, and several prominent tech journalists.
He was an honest fellow who got hit with a bunch of lawsuits from a troll who didn't like being called a troll and ended up in a mess because he commented on a case he was a party to and ended up resigning. He was outed after a troll put a bounty on his identity, no less.
It would certainly have been impractical for long stretches of Groklaw's history for PJ to have a day job.