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Oracle's Android Claims Cut By 98%

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the can't-we-call-in-some-tactical-hurricanes? dept.

Android 130

tomhudson writes "Groklaw is reporting that Oracle was ordered to reduce its claims against Google from 132 to 3. In a further ruling, the judge has ordered that 129 of those claims will be permanently barred against all past and current products. Additionally, the judge has asked both sides if, in their opinion, after they have reduced the number of claims, a trial is still worth holding, or if the case is now moot."

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Can someone explain in English? (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045414)

From TFA: "Currently, there are 132 claims from seven patents asserted in this action, and there are hundreds of prior art references in play for invalidity defenses." What does this mean?

Re:Can someone explain in English? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045440)

Which bit don't you get? Oracle made 132 claims of infringement by Google on their patents. Those 132 claims involved only 7 patents (ie. many of the claims involved the same patents). Google responded by claiming the patents were invalid, citing hundreds of examples of prior art that meant the patents should not have been granted in the first place.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045456)

I think it means that there are 132 separate claims that parts of the code used by google are patented under one (or more) of the seven patents.

If only one claim per patent was upheld, then google would still have to pay to use all 7 patents. But now its been changed such that only 3 claims are to be investigated, and only 8 claims of prior art are to be used in googles defense.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045498)

Telling Google they have to pick and choose what they can use to defend themselves isn't kosher.

If I were Google I'd appeal this pronto.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (5, Informative)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045572)

Telling Google they have to pick and choose what they can use to defend themselves isn't kosher.

Google don't need to defend themselves against the claims that have been thrown out.

This isn't about deciding who is right, at this stage, its about cutting the case down to something that can be heard, considered properly and decided before the heat death of the universe.

Also, its not the Judge's job to get as many patent claims overturned as possible, much as we'd like that to happen.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (3, Informative)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046074)

Google don't need to defend themselves against the claims that have been thrown out.

The judge not only threw out claims, but also some of Google's prior art examples.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

AJH16 (940784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046820)

Right, if I have someone accusing me of A, B, C and D and I have defenses for A, B and C. Then if A, B and C are thrown out, my defenses can be too because they are no longer relevant to the case because I no longer need to defend myself. At least that is my understanding, the judge is just shrinking the body of what needs to be reviewed because he found that a number of claims had no merit and that removing those claims made some of the prior art examples unnecessary.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047046)

Then if A, B and C are thrown out, my defenses can be too because they are no longer relevant to the case because I no longer need to defend myself.

That's assuming that the judge throws out your defenses for A, B and C, and none for D. For a simple case, he would probably get it right, but just imagine the following situation:

Oracle accuses Google of A, B and C.
Google has defense X against A, Y against A, Z against B and C, and T against C.

Judge throws out A, B, X, Y and Z, leaving Oracle only with C, and Google only with T.

Google has still defence T, but Z, which could also have been used against C as well is gone. So Google now has a weaker case.

Given that we are talking about multiple claims of the same patent, the situation where one item of prior art could be used to defend against multiple claims is rather likely.

the judge is just shrinking the body of what needs to be reviewed because he found that a number of claims had no merit and that removing those claims made some of the prior art examples unnecessary.

If that is all he did, you would have a point. But it is just as well possible that Google too brought excessive amounts of prior art per claim, some of which the judge might have wrongly considered irrelevant (even against the claims that were still remaining)

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047780)

Google has defense X against A, Y against A, Z against B and C, and T against C.

Judge throws out A, B, X, Y and Z, leaving Oracle only with C, and Google only with T.

I was told there would be no math.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36046912)

Telling Google they have to pick and choose what they can use to defend themselves isn't kosher.

Why not? It's pretty easy to figure out which ones to pick: the ones that apply to the three remaining claims.

By throwing out 129 claims, the vast majority of Google's defenses became unnecessary.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047154)

Who is to say whether or not Google can fit valid defenses into the 8 prior art slots they've been hogtied into limiting themselves to?

If Google needs 9 to prove a defense, they're screwed.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (3, Interesting)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#36048802)

Here's my understanding of the progression:

  • Oracle spams out 132 accusations where they say Google infringed on their seven patents.
  • Since one "hit" is a win for Oracle, Google must defend against all 132 accusations. (read: even if they're not infringing in 131 cases, if they're infringing on point #132, it's infringement).
  • Thus, Google is forced to spam hundreds of counterarguments.
  • The judge, correctly deducing that he would finish his career on this case if he has to preside over this mess, and also correctly deducing that Oracle is spamming, tells Oracle that they have to pick their three best claims. And to stop a repeat performance, he rules that the other 129 are auto-losses.
  • Google, once they are told what the three *actual* infringing claims are, gets to choose the eight prior arts that best defend against those three. (It's a bit odd that the number isn't nine - three for each claim - but that's neither here nor there). In balance of Oracle's auto-losses, Google is told that they can't use any other defenses past this point as well.
  • The logic is sound to my eyes - if Oracle can't win on their three best cases, odds are that they can't win on the other hundred-plus.

Near as I can see, this is a big win for Google - they've essentially won on 129 points by default, and can concentrate their resources on the remaining three.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045468)

From TFA:
"Currently, there are 132 claims from seven patents asserted in this action, and there are hundreds of prior art references in play for invalidity defenses."

What does this mean?

It means that most of the claims are being defended using "prior art." An example of prior art would be like trying to file a patent for the bicycle (assuming one does not currently exist), it is obvious that the bicycle was not your idea, as someone invented, and put it into practice, long before your filing. The bicycles that were manufactured before you filed would be considered prior art.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (5, Informative)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045486)

Each patent contains multiple claims (usually nested into each other like Russian dolls, from the broadest claims to the most specific). The broader variants have the advantage of striking more implementations (less easy to work around), but have the disadvantage of being more vulnerable to prior art (if they happen to cover a pre-existing implementation by somebody else). By listing multiple claims (from broadest to most specific), the patent holder gets advantages of both narrow and broad claims, without having to do any prior-art research himself.

So, "132 claims from seven patents" just means that Oracle claimed that Android was infringing on an average of 18 claims per patents (...which were very probably very similar to each other, differing only in scope...)

Google tried to have these claims struck by pointing out prior art (implementations that would infringe, but were actually done prior to the patent, thus showing that the patent (... or rather: the relevant claims...) was not really novel...), and found hundreds of them.

Then the judge told both parties to "keep it simple" by only sticking to the most relevant claims and defences.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045532)

That russian doll is called 'matrushka [wikipedia.org] '.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045582)

Yet nobody cares.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045606)

Yet nobody cares.

Yet nobody cares (and you suck).

Re:Can someone explain in English? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045932)

No no. We really don't care what the name of the Russian doll is. But we do care that you're told off about it.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

EdgeCreeper (1618161) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045746)

Matroyshka [angryflower.com]

Re:Can someone explain in English? (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047224)

It's a word normally written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Do you really think it has a canonical representation in the Latin alphabet?

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

snaFu07 (1111263) | more than 3 years ago | (#36048728)

Of course it has [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Can someone explain in English? (2)

Sky Cry (872584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047166)

Check your own link, it's Matryoshka, not "Matrushka". :)

Re:Can someone explain in English? (2)

klui (457783) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047694)

Now I learned about why MKV files were named the way it was.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 3 years ago | (#36048772)

Check your own link, it's Matryoshka, not "Matrushka". :)

Funny, that link seemed to indicate it was , but yeah. :-)

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 3 years ago | (#36048784)

d'oh, I hit preview, and I wanted to cancel editing, but accidentally hit it twice. Ok, so apparently slashcode can't handle international characters. The wikipedia article listed both romanizations though.

Re:Can someone explain in English? (2)

azalin (67640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045562)

Basically they were told to sum up the most important points.
Example (nothing to do with TFA or the case):
Party 1 has a patent on mousebuttonhighlighting (pretty lame, but caffeine level is currently to low) and sues Party 2 for using said technique, stating each and every page ever produced by 2 as evidence
Party 2 then states that Party 1 should never had gotten the patent in the first place, filing each and every web page using said technique before patent was granted (prior art) as evidence
Judge says: OK kids, you both get to choose your most important points and the rest of that crap goes into the waste bin (no recycling allowed). If, after you are forced to think about the stuff you unloaded on my table, you still think it is worth talking about, we can go to court.
Did I forget anything important?

Re:Can someone explain in English? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36046276)

Party 3: ???
Party 4: Profit!

Re:Can someone explain in English? (1)

carlzetie (1589423) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047028)

You forgot to say: The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part.

In Soviet Russia (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#36048040)

In America, you make party disappear!
In Soviet Russia, party make YOU disappear!

friendly fri.; unnatural death reduced 100%? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045420)

what? if we don't shoot each other, we won't die, & we might get to see the chosen one's life0cidal death peddlers, captured, & 'living' in glass cages, in new york, near the water?

no more killing. million $ per citizen terror savings awards from our deranged uncle sam. we might make it? after the disarmaments, & cagings, are complete,

a judge with common sense (2)

kubitus (927806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045436)

please promote this judge to advise higher up!

Re:a judge with common sense (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045500)

Agreed. Sometimes, it seems that the judge in this case or that is a tired old fart without a clue about technology. All the smartass young lawyers come in, talk over the judge's head, and argue asinine bullshit that the judge might only understand if an impartial third party spent months explaining to him. It's about time some judges cut through all the bullshit, and put the lawyers in their place.

"Stop squabbling, children, I WILL DECIDE what is important, and what is not. Sit down, shut up, and OBEY ME!!!"

That said, we need several judges to get a clue about software patents, and to rule the whole damned system as null and void, ruling that software is not and never should have been patentable.

That would still leave a lot of potential for exploitation in copyright laws, but at least the trolls would lose one of their favorite tools.

Re:a judge with common sense (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045960)

"Stop squabbling, children, I WILL DECIDE what is important, and what is not. Sit down, shut up, and OBEY ME!!!"

Close, but no cigar. You could have RTFA, but let me save you the trouble:

"The first reduction will follow claim construction. Within SEVEN DAYS after the finalized claim construction order issues, Oracle shall narrow its patent infringement case to 40 asserted claims. Within SEVEN DAYS after that, Google shall narrow its invalidity case to 120 prior art references."

"The second reduction will follow expert disclosures. By AUGUST 24 (five days after reply expert reports must be served), Oracle shall narrow its patent infringement case to 20 asserted claims. By AUGUST 29 (five days later), Google shall narrow its invalidity case to 60 prior art references."

"The third reduction will follow summary judgment. Between the date on which the summary-judgment order issues and the final pretrial conference, Oracle shall select no more than three asserted claims and Google shall select no more than eight prior art references for trial. All others will be forsaken."

I like this addition though: "Counsel did not specify their understanding of a “triable number” of claims and prior art references, so the Court selected these figures based on its own views and experience". In other words: you failed to tell me what you think is reasonable, so I will decide what is reasonable. And three claims seems reasonable to me. Now stop squabbling and come back when you have decided what you want.

This judge is looking for a speedy resolution. He probably knows the SCO case, and seems hell-bent on not allowing this case to be drawn out for years.

Re:a judge with common sense (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046540)

Yes, I actually DID RTFA. Perhaps the fact that I was translating from legal speak into something that makes sense to me went right over your head.

"so the Court selected these figures based on its own views and experience"

That single line pretty much says, "We're going to do this MY way, little bitches, now shut up, and sit down, pay attention!"

Re:a judge with common sense (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046108)

Agreed. Sometimes, it seems that the judge in this case or that is a tired old fart without a clue about technology. All the smartass young lawyers come in, talk over the judge's head, and argue asinine bullshit that the judge might only understand if an impartial third party spent months explaining to him. It's about time some judges cut through all the bullshit, and put the lawyers in their place.

"Stop squabbling, children, I WILL DECIDE what is important, and what is not. Sit down, shut up, and OBEY ME!!!"

It needs to go further then that. A judge needs to be able to rule that a litigant is vexatious and say:

"This was an utter waste of the courts time again, you are barred from suing for the next 5 (or so) years, now get out of my court."

Re:a judge with common sense (1)

urulokion (597607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047558)

It needs to go further then that. A judge needs to be able to rule that a litigant is vexatious and say: "This was an utter waste of the courts time again, you are barred from suing for the next 5 (or so) years, now get out of my court."

Being declared a vexatious litigator has an extremely hurdle to overcome. And that hurdle being the constitutional right of access to the courts. One frivolous lawsuit would not be nearly enough to be declared vexatious. It would take dozens of such cases.

Re:a judge with common sense (4, Insightful)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045752)

If only this judge had been in charge of the cases in SCO vs The World, that nonsense would have been done in 2004. It's easy to see that this fellow has a clue here.

Re:a judge with common sense (1)

DCFusor (1763438) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047330)

We could hope this judge caught that clue by watching SCO antics, maybe even reading Groklaw. Hope, anyway. PJ sure did a job of work to raise awareness to the point where that's a possibility.

Re:a judge with common sense (3, Insightful)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046258)

Hold your horses. He's not reducing the number of claims because he thinks the claims themselves are ridiculous. He's reducing the number of claims because the number is ridiculous and not able to be tried reasonably.

Currently, there are 132 claims from seven patents asserted in this action, and there are hundreds of prior art references in play for invalidity defenses. This is too much. The following schedule will ensure that only a triable number of these items — three claims and eight prior art references — are placed before the jury in October, all others to be forsaken.

Do you have any idea how long a trial would last with 132 claims and hundreds of prior art references to sort out?

Re:a judge with common sense (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046856)

Hold your horses. He's not reducing the number of claims because he thinks the claims themselves are ridiculous. He's reducing the number of claims because the number is ridiculous and not able to be tried reasonably.

Yeah, on the one hand it's kind of arbitrary and capricious. I mean, if they really have 132 valid claims it seems inappropriate for the court system to refuse to allow them to be asserted. On the other hand trying all of those claims and all of the prior art would just be impractical.

On the gripping hand, I suspect that the real root of the problem is that most of these patents should never have been issued in the first place, because they are invalid due to prior art, and/or obviousness. But our broken patent system leaves that for the courts to sort out in what's arguably the most expensive and least efficient way possible.

Can't Google upgrade Java? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045438)

Not by adding that, these days seen as cool, syntactic sugar, that in my opinion would cater to language afficionados but would also hurt large projects in the C++ style, but instead do things like making the generics real and thus correcting the insane method overloading and array creation rules. Obsoleting large parts of the library as well. Make its own library a part of the standard library.

And, while we are at it, give the language another name.

And, in a sense, buy Java by paying its own developers.

More extreme than Google's counterproposal? (2)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045448)

Only 3 Oracle claims left? Only a few days ago I heard about Oracles proposal to reduce the number of claims to 30, and Google's counter proposal to reduce them to 20. 3 seems rather extreme, doesn't it?

I just hope it helps rather than hurts Google's attempt to invalidate all those patents.

Re:More extreme than Google's counterproposal? (5, Interesting)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045546)

Even 1 could be enough for ruling to stop competitive company products being sold.

If companies would be smart and really being sure that other company is abusing their patent, then they would show just the ones what are needed.
Now they throw almost everything what they get even close to that case and judges and assistant specialists are bored to death. Companies believe that the amount of abusive accusitions means the judge (or jury) sees how bad the accused is and it can not be a false.
 

Re:More extreme than Google's counterproposal? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047656)

Even 1 could be enough for ruling to stop competitive company products being sold.

If companies would be smart and really being sure that other company is abusing their patent, then they would show just the ones what are needed. Now they throw almost everything what they get even close to that case and judges and assistant specialists are bored to death. Companies believe that the amount of abusive [accusations] means the judge (or jury) sees how bad the accused is and it can not be a false.

What competing smart-phone does Oracle sell? Does Google sell Android? nope... How would Oracle make sure that Google is "abusing" their Java patents? Are not both Java and Davlik both free as in beer? Patents stifle innovation, and harm business, even open source software can't escape the gaping maw of the patent trolls... It's as plain as day to anyone who can whip out "hello world". IMO, the judge shouldn't stop there, continue reducing the triable software patents until the most reasonable number of applicable software patents is reached...

Honestly, I write software, and I do have competitors, but I welcome their competition -- I would never dream of suing them with every patent I have... although, it would be sort of interesting in court:

"You see! They're infringing EVERY PATENT I HAVE!"
"Just how many is that?"
"Well... Zero, but by my calculations that means the monetary damages should be INFINITE!"

It is possible to not patent anything, and still sell software and services. My customers fund the development of new features, instead of me constantly re-licensing old code -- I get paid to do work, not produce encryption keys -- It costs less to produce and purchase the software and, IMO, it's much more fair.

I need less middle men, therefore I can take a larger percentage of the profit even if the total is less & I like it this way.

Re:More extreme than Google's counterproposal? (1)

urulokion (597607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047682)

Even 1 could be enough for ruling to stop competitive company products being sold.

Not really. There has been a court case (too lazy to look it up) which has greatly gutted the threat having products recalled, seized, etc. and/or huge amounts of damages if the product has violated a patent. It boils down to how much of the patent the products has violated and how essential the violated invention is to the entirety of the product. If, for example, a smartphone violated 1 claim in a patent on how menus are displayed/formatted that is a very small part of the overall product so the court would over all of the phones to be seize or rewards a bazillion $$$. More likely the penalty would be a small amount of $$ for each manufactured smartphone

On the other hand, it would be enough for the FTC to block the importation of that smartphone into the US before the dispute has been heard and tried by a court.

Re:More extreme than Google's counterproposal? (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36048192)

It's legal maneuvering. If you just throw three at them to start with, even if they are actually infringing, their lawyers can make a better defense against those three. It's better to throw some that are more ambiguous in there as well. It might just happen that the opposition spends most of their time building defenses for the ones you didn't care all that much about anyway and be caught of guard for your most solid patents. Most likely this will never actually see a jury verdict as eventually the outcome will be clear to lawyers on both sides long before the trial would reach a natural end. At that point both sides decide to settle as the outcome is obvious and there's no point in running up more legal fees.

Re:More extreme than Google's counterproposal? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046250)

It's going to get to 3 eventually, but they are going to cut the claims down gradually. I read TFA but I'll shamelessly post this excerpt from AC's above post:

"The first reduction will follow claim construction. Within SEVEN DAYS after the finalized claim construction order issues, Oracle shall narrow its patent infringement case to 40 asserted claims. Within SEVEN DAYS after that, Google shall narrow its invalidity case to 120 prior art references."

"The second reduction will follow expert disclosures. By AUGUST 24 (five days after reply expert reports must be served), Oracle shall narrow its patent infringement case to 20 asserted claims. By AUGUST 29 (five days later), Google shall narrow its invalidity case to 60 prior art references."

"The third reduction will follow summary judgment. Between the date on which the summary-judgment order issues and the final pretrial conference, Oracle shall select no more than three asserted claims and Google shall select no more than eight prior art references for trial. All others will be forsaken."

not cool (0)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045466)

I can understand getting yelled at to simplify the docket and not overload the judge and jury, but permanently barring claims at a summary stage isn't kosher.

At most the judge should have booted them off without prejudice.

And I'm not at ALL cool with the apparent limitation on prior art and defenses.

Re:not cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045482)

Patents must die. It was a nice idea from the beginning but, like communism, the system doesn't work in practice. So it must die.

Re:not cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045918)

correction,

communism has never been practised, anywhere in the world AFAICT.

"communism doesn't work" is just conditioned propaganda.

Re:not cool (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045986)

Way off-topic here, but 'communism has never been practiced' is another way of saying that it doesn't work, since it has been attempted a lot of times. And it's not even true. Communism works quite well, the problem is that it doesn't scale. Once you get beyond about 50 people in your society, communism starts to develop serious issues.

Re:not cool (4, Insightful)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046580)

Patents have the same problem. They may work well with single inventors inventing steam engines and telephones, but it doesn't scale well to multinational pharma and software companies.

Re:not cool (1)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047018)

"communism has never been practiced" != "communism doesn't work"

It means that the attempts people made for "communism" wasn't actually communism but their interpretation of it which, because of the changes and differences from what communism theoretically is, it didn't work. You can't definitively say that communism doesn't work until it is actually attempted.

Re:not cool (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047302)

As I always say, Communism is as American as apple pie... "family" could literally be interpreted as producing a Communist state between two adults. That is, of course, taking into account that the children are under a totalitarian dictatorship at birth, with a slow progression to forming their own communist house once they turn 18.

Re:not cool (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#36048100)

My high school social studies teacher had the best quote. Communism is the perfect form of government, but only if people are perfect. It's so wildly impractical to implement as we've seen in every country that's tried. On the other side of the equation are the pure Free Market governments that can't sustain themselves either.

Re:not cool (2)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046438)

Ah, Communism -- The One True Scotsman of political philosophy.

The other Scotsman (1)

imric (6240) | more than 3 years ago | (#36049034)

would be free market economics - it fails harder the closer markets come to it, but the excuse used for those failures is always that the market wasn't free enough...

*chuckle*

Re:not cool (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36048416)

Communism has never been practiced... on a national scale. Plenty of practicing communist groups exist and some of them have been around longer than the word communism.

Re:not cool (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#36049002)

Communism has never been practiced... on a national scale. Plenty of practicing communist groups exist and some of them have been around longer than the word communism.

Most households could be classified as communist.

Yes, that means your neighbors are practicing communists!

Ummm, sorry, that is one of their jobs (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046168)

Judges in US courts are the judge of law. It is their job to decide how the law applies to a case and make sure legal standards of evidence are met. So that also means they can dismiss things and prevent them from coming back. This same thing can happen in a criminal case. A judge can determine that the evidence is insufficient to go to trial, and that something has tainted it and thus bar the charge from going forward.

Judges are supposed to get rid of things before it goes to the jury. The jury is just the judge of fact. Everything presented to them is supposed to have met all legal standards, they are just there to decide what is true or not.

In the case of civil trials, a lot of things often get thrown out since plaintiffs often make shitloads of claims. In a criminal trial the prosecution must have one theory of the case. That theory could potentially change based on new evidence, but they can't present a bunch of alternate scenarios and try to play pick n' choose. However in a civil trial the plaintiff may present a whole bunch of claims, and likewise the defense may present a whole bunch of defenses.

Some of these can be pretty stupid, and they'll get culled pretrial.

This appears to be the legal system working as intended. If you don't like it, you are probably going to have to look for another country as it is pretty well set in its ways in the US.

Re:Ummm, sorry, that is one of their jobs (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046278)

More like Oracle is accusing google of stabbing it in both shoulders and the judge is forcing it to only pick one shoulder to sue for.

Now if the judge were to throw out specific claims instead of putting a hard cap on the number and let Oracle choose what to let google get away wtih, that would make better sense.

If the judge is letting Oracle decide for itself which 3 of those 100 or so claims to proceed with, then it sorta implies that the judge thinks they are all potentially valid.

Re:Ummm, sorry, that is one of their jobs (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046466)

What's the alternative? Have the judge hear 132 different cases with say 20 cases of prior art each? Assuming that it takes a week to hear each claim, and a 1/2 for each prior art that would be 1,500 days, factor in holidays and weekends and you're talking about ~2,500 days (7-8 years). Obviously these numbers are pulled out of my ass, but I would be suprised if a case of such scale wouldn't take years. The other options are rush the process giving each claim and the prior art a mere fraction of the time they should, or decrease the scope of the case.

Given that a years long case would suit no one other than the lawyers I think the judge was right to force a limitation of scope. Asking Oracle to limit themselves to 3 claims is probably a little extreme, but anything more than single digits would become extremely unwieldy. Oracle should be able to show Googles wrong doing using its 3 strongest claims, it it can't it is unlikely that the other 129 would make any difference. Additionally Google should be able to show prior art by presenting its best 3 examples, if these aren't valid then the others were unlikely to be.

Re:Ummm, sorry, that is one of their jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36046520)

Or it implies that the judge thinks that they're all potentially invalid and it wouldn't matter which ones get thrown out. IMO the judge took a brief glance at all the claims and prior art defences and thought that all the claims were BS, but figuring that there could be something in there that was valid decided to make Oracle pick it's top 3.

To me that implies that the judge thinks that Oracle could have a theoretical maximum of 3 valid claims.

Re:not cool (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046308)

It would appear that the judge knows fine that they're just trolling, and has acted accordingly.

Re:not cool (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#36048994)

At most the judge should have booted them off without prejudice.

It makes sense in this context - if it was without prejudice, then whoever lost would simply grab another handful and start the court case over again.

The end is obviosly near (2)

azalin (67640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045516)

A court order making sense? ObL found, nuclear reactors are now officially not 100% safe, the greens party wins an election in germany, the second british prince marries a common woman, canada has a new government, atlas shrugged the movie is out, the middle east struggling for freedom...
2012 must truly bring the end of the world as we know it.

Re:The end is obviosly near (5, Funny)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045554)

Nonono --- the end will be near when Slashdot's fortune generator gets un-stuck and shows something other than that annoying Matt Welsh quote. (And when I get some mod points.)

Re:The end is obviosly near (3, Interesting)

sosume (680416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045626)

I thought it was just me stuck with that quote ..

Re:The end is obviosly near (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046036)

I assumed that was deliberate. The comment seems to sum up Slashdot 2.0 quite well...

Re:The end is obviosly near (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047012)

Annoying? Given the atrocity that is the new comment system, that quote is just about the only reason I keep coming back.

Re:The end is obviosly near (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047598)

If there ever was a post that needed to go above +5, that is it.

Re:The end is obviosly near (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045588)

What?! You say Slashdot is going to be run down 2012? Hell....

Re:The end is obviosly near (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045646)

You forgot that Duke Nukem is coming out this year in June.

Re:The end is obviosly near (5, Funny)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045712)

You forgot that Duke Nukem is coming out this year in June.

In this regard, this year is no different from the 10 previous ones.

Re:The end is obviosly near (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046328)

The release date was always just "when it's done" [3drealms.com] before.

Re:The end is obviosly near (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045802)

You must be new around here (regardless of your 5 digit UID)... Every /.er knows the world doesn't end until Duke Nukem Forever is released...

Re:The end is obviosly near (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045942)

... and ported to the Hurd. I mean GNU/Hurd, sorry. Please don't put me back in the box, Mr Stallman.

Re:The end is obviosly near (-1, Troll)

MaDeR (826021) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045860)

"nuclear reactors are now officially not 100% safe"
They never was, eco-loonie. Only ones that claimed it are nuclear-loonies, suprisingly similiar to you in mentality.

Re:The end is obviosly near (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046030)

The year of Linux on the desktop must first come to pass.

Re:The end is obviosly near (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36048924)

As tablets and netbooks converge (e.g. ASUS Eee Pad Transformer), Linux on the desktop seems like more of a possibility.

Re:The end is obviosly near (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046830)

Atlas Shrugged is only part 1 and it's pretty crappy, so much so it's unlikely part 2 will be made.

So we are safe for a while.

collusion (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045526)

i call collusion. lawyers on both sides just wanted to get the judge to say "moot" cause it sounds funny. "Moot." hehehe. Try it. "Moot".

Re:collusion (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045592)

<judge> [blah blah blah]....moot. What's so funny, counselor?"</judge>

<butthead> huhuhuhuh you said huhuh "moot". Huhuh huhuhuh</butthead>

<beavis> Yeah! Yeah! He said "moot" heh hehheh hehhehhehhehheh</beavis>

<judge> **bangs gavel**</judge>

Oracle only needs one (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045620)

It's a scattergun approach. Honestly, seems pretty poor form from Oracle's legal team but their job is to win, not to play fair.

The tactic seems to be to file every claim that could conceivably be relevant. Hope a few will stick. As it happens 3 did. That's 200% more than they needed.

Re:Oracle only needs one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045694)

Java SE is open source, and Java ME isn't. Oracle is mad because Google is put a real java implementation (Java SE) on a phone rather than a limited one.

Re:Oracle only needs one (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045730)

It is not that 3 stuck: the judge has not decided which 3 claims stick. He has ordered both sides to reduce their claims and defences from the current huge number in three stages, to be down to 3/8 by the time the case comes to trial. The idea is that Oracle should pick their three strongest claims, and Google their eight best defences against those claims. This means that there is at least a chance that the jury will be able ti understand the case without their brains exploding,

Re:Oracle only needs one (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046040)

I offered to license my patented technique of "Apparatus and method for the preparation of a shit-adhesive wall"; but we couldn't come to an agreement. I bet they are sorry now...

Groklaw is stopping. (5, Interesting)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045794)

It was announced that groklaw will stop on may 16 [groklaw.net] , What site will be the best followup?

Re:Groklaw is stopping. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045970)

You just posted to it. Couch lawyers! FTW!

Re:Groklaw is stopping. (3, Informative)

urulokion (597607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047800)

Groklaw isn't going away. All that's happening is that PJ (Pamela Jones) is retiring aka stepping away from Groklaw to pursuit other things. Groklaw has consumed her life for the past 9 years.

I don't know what Groklaw will morph into w/o PJ at the helm. But PJ (aka the team of IBM laywers ;) ) says the site will be in good hands after she steps down.

I smell a SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36045878)

Deja vu

Google elected the judge (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36045966)

Donated to the judge's campaign.
How convenient.

Re:Google elected the judge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36046058)

pics or it didn't happen

Re:Google elected the judge (1)

urulokion (597607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36047842)

Donations to a the campaign of an Federal Judge who is appointed for life?

I don' thin' so.

Am I reading this right? (1)

ajo_arctus (1215290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046068)

I'm not sure I'm reading this right, but to me it looks like Oracle now get to build back up to 40 claims (based on the 7 patents), after which Google can have up to 120 invalidity cases (prior art), from where Oracle have to halve the number of claims and Google finally have to halve the number of invalidity cases. Then they go to summary judgement.

This is the bit I'm reading:

The first reduction will follow claim construction. Within SEVEN DAYS after the finalized claim construction order issues, Oracle shall narrow its patent infringement case to 40 asserted claims. Within SEVEN DAYS after that, Google shall narrow its invalidity case to 120 prior art references. It is anticipated that this first pair of reductions will be completed by the end of May. Within SEVEN DAYS after that, Google shall narrow its invalidity case to 120 prior art references. It is anticipated that this first pair of reductions will be completed by the end of May. The second reduction will follow expert disclosures. By AUGUST 24 (five days after reply expert reports must be served), Oracle shall narrow its patent infringement case to 20 asserted claims. By AUGUST 29 (five days later), Google shall narrow its invalidity case to 60 prior art references. The parties will then have a week of expert discovery remaining, and another week before summary-judgment motions must be filed.

I'm not sure if this is a major win for either side or not, or whether the judge is just telling them to calm down and come back with a reasonable number of things to take to trial. PJ certainly seems happy, so I'm guessing that this hurts Oracle far more than Google.

Finally some common sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36046128)

Oracles also needs a slap in the face.

Oracle's Android... (2)

santhoshn (2118522) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046282)

I was shocked for a moment....

Re:Oracle's Android... (3, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046426)

Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Android

Re:Oracle's Android... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046502)

Sorry to have shocked you (though I bet Oracle now wishes they did own Android). What can I say, I had to fit it into the subject character limit, and I didn't notice how strange it looks until you pointed it out.

132 Spam Emails (2)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36046324)

I received 132 emails for little blue pills. All it took was for me to click on one of them!

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