Oracle and Google have been clashing in court over alleged Android and Java-related infringements on seven of Oracle’s patents. And now, it turns out that Google won the latest battle. The California judge handling the case, Hon. William Alsup, has released an order which details how much each side must cut back its claims. The case just got a whole smaller – Oracle has been ordered to reduce its 132 claims down to only 3.
“Currently, there are 132 claims from seven patents asserted in this action, and there are hundreds of prior art references in play for invalidity defenses. This is too much. The following schedule will ensure that only a triable number of these items — three claims and eight prior art references — are placed before the jury in October…”
Even one claim passed through in court is enough to have a very significant affect on Android and Android users everywhere, but the elimination of 129 claims sure does simplify some of Google’s legal efforts. Still, the judges’ order also applies to Google, and Glenn Manishin, author of the Fear & Loathing blog thinks the order probably won’t have any affect on the final outcome of the trial.
“It is an example of the federal district judge ‘managing’ his civil docket by requiring litigants to streamline their cases. Not unusual in general, so I would not assume anything regarding the ultimate outcome. ‘The “claims’ here are patent claims, not legal claims — the judge did not order any part of the case dropped, only tightened to make for a more efficient (and understandable) jury trial. When you read the order itself, you will see that both parties must considerably narrow the issues for trial, i.e., Google must limit many of its invalidity defenses as well.”
The Oracle vs. Google court battle has been going on for quite some time now. Just a few weeks back, the same judge who released this order reportedly “largley sided with Oracle.”
Of course, when it boils down to patent and legal wars in the tech industry, there is always a bounty of companies battling each other in court. One is Cisco, which got itself involved in the largest crackdown on hedge-fund insider trading in the history of the US, because of its 2009 acquisition of Starent Networks. The mobile scene is also boiling, considering that Nokia recently filed a second lawsuit against Apple claiming the latter one has patent infringements “in virtually all of its products.” That includes phones, music players and so forth.