Eating away at innovation
Summary: Quick analysis of the verdict from the Oracle vs. Google case and a few other bits of news, showing quite clearly that it’s part of a much broader problem
Just over a week ago, the jury began deliberations on the ongoing patent infringement case between Google and Oracle. After waiting in the wings, with bated breath, the verdict is finally in, as Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern California dismissed the jury this afternoon after a unanimous decision that ruled in favor of Google’s mobile OS — declaring that Android did not in fact infringe on the Oracle patents in question.
Here is the coverage from Pamela Jones:
The jury verdict is in. They found no infringement of the patents!
Linus Torvalds had something to say as well:
Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux writes on Google +, “Prediction: instead of Oracle coming out and admitting they were morons about their idiotic suit against Android, they’ll come out posturing and talk about how they’ll be vindicated, and pay lawyers to take it to the next level of idiocy.
Sometimes I really wish I wasn’t always right. It’s a curse, I tell you.”
Oracle loses its patent claims and so Google has almost completely defeated Oracle in its vain attempts to squeeze an intellectual property payoff from Google and Android.
This is all very happy and encouraging, but it won’t be the end of the bigger problem.
According to this article, SCOTUS might have a key ruling on a software patents redone:
The United States Supreme Court signaled skepticism about broad software patents Monday when it ordered reconsideration of an online advertising patent. The high court asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to reconsider its decision approving the patent in light of a March Supreme Court decision restricting patents on medical diagnostic techniques.
The online ad patent, granted to a company called Ultramercial, covers the concept of allowing users to watch a pre-roll advertisement as an alternative to paying for premium content. Ultramercial has demanded licensing fees from several online video sites, including Hulu and YouTube. One target of Ultramercial’s legal threats, a company called WildTangent, challenged Ultramercial’s “invention” as merely an abstract idea not eligible for patent protection.
if this is carried onwards, maybe one day we’ll see all software patents — not just Oracle’s — put to rest. Until then, Apple will be “Heading To Court” with charges against companies it is unable to compete with fairly (no compromise). It still makes senses to suspect that Oracle’s attack on Android was in part motivated by Ellison’s “best friend”,Steve Jobs. We are dealing with aggressive megalomaniacs here. █