Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Oracle v. Google - Patent and Copyright Cases - Groklaw's Timeline and Court Papers

Wikipedia says "Groklaw is an award-winning website covering legal news of interest to the free and open source software community." Its slogan: "digging for the truth" is accurate in that Groklaw does a great job of posting legal documents that would be typically not found inexpensively; it seems less accurate if it means the opinions of a blog that functions as a bully pulpit for paralegal Pamela Jones ("PJ") to articulate the rightness of the free and open source software communities opposition to intellectual property and particularly software patents.

Still Groklaw is an excellent resource for tech people having to deal with intellectual property law. For example, I spent many evenings reading about the Oracle v. Google patent and copyright trials then news coverage vanished after Oracle lost its case. Thus, I appreciate Groklaw's effort in doubling back and posting the complete trial transcripts: Oracle v. Google Timeline when it is not a hot topic. There is lot to learn from them.

The trial transcripts suggest why billing by the hour is so profitable for litigation attorneys: "If you are paying by the hour, I see where I can file another paper to advance your cause." Joking aside, they don't have much choice. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and modern patent litigation dictate a number of the filings. If an attorney files a motion, the opposing litigator must reply to avoid conceding unless the client authorizes it.  And when you have mobile computing at stake, and Oracle's and Google's financial resources, the massive transcripts are inevitable and indicates why this litigation was so expensive despite reexamination eliminating all but two Oracle patents.

Updated November 30, 2012: FOSS Patents reports: Oracle's appeal of ruling in Google/Java case focuses entirely on copyright, drop patents

Copyright © 2012 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.