July 8, 2012
Google vs Oracle – Google Demands Repayment Of Legal Fees
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
In what may well be a case of winning the battle but losing the war, Oracle, which was awarded between $150,000 and $200,000 in damages during a ferocious patent-based legal battle with Google earlier this year, has been hit with a bill for $4 million in legal costs from the Menlo Park tech giant, John Paczkowski of All Things D and others have reported.
Google chief counsel Robert Van Nest filed the brief seeking reimbursement of those costs in federal court on Thursday night, arguing that since his client had "prevailed on a substantial part of the litigation" and that Oracle had "recovered none of the relief it sought in this litigation." As such, Van Nest wrote that Google was "the prevailing party and is entitled to recover costs," Wired's Caleb Garling reported on Friday.
Oracle, who sued Google in 2010 claiming that the company had infringed upon copyrights and patents in the creation of the Android mobile operating system, was handed defeat in nearly every claim brought forth during the six-week trial this spring, Garling said. They had accused Google of cloning 37 Java application programming interfaces (API) and swiping actual software code from the platform, he added.
Ultimately, a jury did rule that Google had taken nine lines of code and a pair of test files, and awarded the $150,000 to $200,000 in damages to the Redwood City, California-based firm, according to Paczkowski. Now, however, Google is seeking to recoup expenses incurred during the trial, including a reported $2.9 million spent copying and organizing a whopping 97 million documents during the trial, as well as transcript fees of about $143,000, court-appointed expert fees of $987,000, Wired and All Things D reported.
Oracle has vowed to "vigorously pursue an appeal" of the original ruling, handed down by U.S. District Judge William Alsup on May 31, PCMag writer Damon Poeter wrote. In that ruling, Alsup declared that Google had not violated copyright law, because such regulations do not "confer ownership over any and all ways to implement a function or specification, no matter how creative the copyrighted implementation or specification may be."
In the meantime, some tech experts believe the hefty legal bill is Oracle's just desserts.
"On a personal note, we think Oracle deserves this," Abhi, a writer with The Droid Guy, explained. "Oracle eminently claimed infringement on an API call -- which in geeky terms is simply the method of accessing the underlying functions. Had that been ruled in favor of Oracle, all the GCC libraries, POSIX and codes written by clean-techniques would be under infringement. That apparently would mean that the group who is the first to write the API implementation can sue everyone which follows them."
"It´s astute, despicable and to some extent shameful how the leading companies, instead of innovating and competing are busy prosecuting each other," Abhi added. "If Oracle is smart, it would pay the sum right away to avoid any contemptible embarrassment. However, if it was smart, it wouldn´t have filed the suit in the very first place."