Verdicts & Settlements

Google GC Sees Message in Verdict Rejecting Oracle Patent Claims


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San Francisco jurors ruled for Google on Wednesday in the latest phase of an infringement trial involving smart phone technology.

Jurors rejected all of Oracle Corp.’s patent claims over Google’s use of Java technology in Android smart phone software, report the Recorder, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and the New York Times Bits blog.

The Recorder summarizes the result this way: “Oracle, which once touted the whole case as worth $6 billion or more, could walk away with nothing but legal bills.” Oracle has won only “two relatively tiny copyright infringement claims” in the multiphase trial, the story says. Legal skirmishes continue over a different copyright finding in which jurors found infringement but deadlocked on whether the violation was fair use.

Google general counsel Kent Walker commented in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “I think you’ve seen a lot of patent cases filed lately, and most of them have not resulted in successful outcomes for plaintiffs,” he said. “That may send a message to those who might want to do these things in the future.”

Walker wouldn’t comment on Google’s legal bills in the litigation, but he said that such lawsuits can generally cost about $5 million per patent to defend. Google’s lead lawyer was Robert Van Nest of Keker & Van Nest.

After the verdict, jury foreman Greg Thompson commented on the lawyering, the Recorder says. He couldn’t recall any blunders, but said it was difficult to absorb all of the technical information. He also said lawyer Daniel Purcell was admired by a couple of jurors, not necessarily for his legal skills, but for “other reasons.” The Recorder describes the Keker & Van Nest partner as “a baby-faced strawberry blond.”

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