The legal battle between Oracle and Google started when the former tried to build a $6-billion case against the search giant in 2010 for some alleged infringements on Java and patents in Android. With the new court ruling showing Google’s win, Oracle is instead forced to pay Google $1.13 million in court fees.
Experts have speculated that the case cost millions, if not tens of millions, of dollars for both companies. Reimbursements can be awarded to the winner although Google was able to pull it off successfully this time. Judge William Alsup of District Court in Northern California considered Google’s partial request for reimbursement of $4.03 million but denied $2.9 million out of the amount while ordering Oracle to pay Google the rest.
Oracle did not get anything after 2 years and 6 years of trial, according to Alsup.
“Oracle initially alleged infringement of seven patents and 132 claims but each claim ultimately was either dismissed with prejudice or found to be non-infringed by the jury. Oracle also lost on its primary copyright claim for Java APIs,” he said.
Alsup’s ruling in favor of Google’s request for reimbursement was meant to give financial coverage to the work of expert witness James Kearl, who was brought in by Google to testify. There’s a legal provision for allowing fee reimbursement to experts appointed by the court. Google’s request for reimbursement for FTI Consulting in its electroni discovery part in the trial was denied. Alsup believed that the consulting firm’s part was nonreimbursable “intellectual efforts”.
“The problem with Google’s e-discovery bill of costs is that many of [the] item-line descriptions seemingly bill for ‘intellectual effort’ such as organizing, searching, and analyzing the discovery documents,” Alsup was cited.
On an interesting note, the presiding judge seemed to have lost appetite in its effort to know more about the paid bloggers and commentators employed by both sides while the case was on going. Oracle previously admitted to have shelled out money to a consultant Florian Mueller of FOSSPatents.
Alsup wrote: “The Court takes this opportunity to state that it will take no further action regarding the subject of payments by the litigants to commentators and journalists and reassures both sides that no commentary has in any way influenced the Court’s orders and ruling herein save and except for any treatise or article expressly cited in an order or ruling.”
Oracle is expected to appeal the decision so this case is far from over yet. However, many experts monitoring the case thinks Oracle seems to be on the defensive at this time and can expect more losing streak if the trend continues.
Judge Alsup’s ruling on the case can be found here.