Judge denies Oracle's motion to overturn patent ruling

Judge Alsup upholds jury's verdict on patents, arguing that remaining 10 jurors could have "rejected every word" of Oracle's primary expert witness.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Maybe you can't blame Oracle for trying, but overturning the jury's verdict against patent infringement last week is all but a lost cause at this point.

Judge William Alsup at the U.S. District Court of Northern California issued a response on Wednesday to Oracle's motion for a judgment as a matter of law that Google infringed U.S. Patent Nos. RE38,104 and 6,061,520. Oracle is still trying to get a guilty charge on these after the jury flat out rejected both claims just one week ago.

Put simply, Alsup's answer to the motion: Denied.

The heart of Alsup's analysis and response to the motion essentially argues that there was enough evidence to support the jury's verdict clearing Google of any wrongdoing -- as far as patents are concerned.

Despite all of the missteps and confusion in the second phase in trial over technical terminology and related disputes between expert witnesses, Alsup still defended the jury's unanimous decision.

Even adopting Oracle’s belated effort to construe "data” to mean "the ultimate data to be obtained or used after symbolic reference resolution is performed," a reasonable jury could still find that Android did not infringe.

However, Alsup did comment at the end of his response about the testimony of Oracle's core expert witness, Dr. John Mitchell, a computer science professor at Stanford University.

In regards to the mistakes Mitchell made in his report, which was argued about back and forth between both Oracle and Google's lawyers towards the end of the trial, Alsup posited that "a reasonable jury could have rejected every word of his testimony."

Alsup acknowledged in his analysis that an appellate court might later find that there might be a reason somewhere along the line to require a new trial.

But until then, he continued, the Court is satisfied that jury instructions and subsequent verdict. To read Alsup's response in full, check it out below:

Oracle v. Google: Denial of Oracle's JMOL on Patents


Editorial standards