You may recall the lawsuit Oracle filed against Google towards the end of last summer over what Oracle alleges are bits of intellectual property Google lifted from Sun Microsystems, of which Oracle acquired in 2009. The main issue remains whether Google did indeed lift Java code from Oracle for use in their mobile Android operating system. In October of last year, Oracle revised their lawsuit to show, line by line, copied Java code between source files.
Some people were immediately skeptical of Oracle's claims. While there was one brief episode in January of this year where 43 Android source files were found to be copied from Java, it was then discovered that the copied code in question were just Java unit tests and audio drivers for a chipset - neither set of code existed in shipping copies of Android.
Nevertheless, Oracle's lawsuit carried on. Earlier this week, the judge in the Oracle v. Google case asked both companies to suggest a revised number of claims from the original figure of 132 patent infringement claims filed by Oracle. Oracle suggested a reduction to 75 claims, and believes the case go forward regardless of Google's request to have the USPTO reexamine prior art claims. As for Google, they suggested a reduction to just 20 claims.
That was this past Sunday. Yesterday, the judge went further and slashed the number of claims to just 3. The other 129 claims can not be reconsidered from this point forward. The case has now swung strongly in Google's favour.
If Oracle still insists on having a piece of the Android pie, they may want to consider a new path that their adopted family at Sun were smart to avoid. In the meantime, the Oracle v. Google case carries on, but with much less of the Android ecosystem at stake.
Thanks techbeck for the tip in the forums!
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