May 8, 2012

Copyright case - Is Google the winner?

It would appear to be so - I am no legal expert but there is no hint of celebrations or 'I told you so' kind of posts from Herr Mueller who is widely perceived to be pro-Oracle. That tells its own story.

Having said that, the other news sources that are more balanced, such as The Verge and other mainstream media are more circumspect. Open-source enthusiast website Groklaw bravely declares that Google has won on practically everything that matters though that remains to be seen.

At the very least, one can say days of $6b damage claims are over. Can we also say restraining injunctions and a mandated license from Oracle at gunpoint are also gone? Perhaps so, as the partial verdict indicates. Although in the worst case, if Judge holds APIs copyrightable and dismiss fair use defence, there could still be trouble ahead for Google.

What remains? A few hundred thousands of dollars in damages, which is peanuts for both sides? That is IF, there is a big IF there, Judge rules that APIs can be copyrighted in the first place. If not, the so called damages for 'copying' 9 lines of code in a system that has millions of them, would not cover a day's worth of lawyer fee perhaps.

With most patent claims dead in water already, even before the trial started, and many others withdrawn forever, ( an attempt to reinstate them by some legal word play was shot down), this should not be a big headache for Google, going forward.

Apple's multitude of cases against various handset makers including Motorola, owned by Google, have produced negligible results so far and are likely to remain that way for much of this year and perhaps next.

That leaves only Microsoft.



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