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Oracle accepts a nice round number in damages from Google

Let's get this over with so we can appeal already

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Oracle has agreed to accept damages of $0 from Google in the Java case for the small bit of copyright infringement of which the judge found it guilty.

Judge William Alsup cleared the Chocolate Factory of most of Oracle's infringement claims last month and ruled that Google had copied only a few small bits of Java code. Oracle and Google met in court yesterday to decide what damages Google should pay, where their lawyers announced the firms had settled on $0.

It sounds a bit like Oracle has taken leave of its senses, but it's more likely that the firm just wants this trial over so that it can appeal and try to get Alsup's earlier decisions overturned.

Google has also signalled that it might look for legal fees from Oracle, since it basically won on most counts.

It all went horribly wrong for Oracle at the end of last month when Judge Alsup ruled that APIs can't be copyrighted, effectively killing Oracle's suit.

"So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API," he said.

The previous week, Google got off the hook on patent infringement when the jury ruled that neither of the two patents left to be claimed by Oracle had been infringed by the Android operating system.

Oracle was originally hoping for as much as $1bn from the patent part of the suit and a cool $6bn on copyright infringement, so $0 isn't really going to cut it.

Dragging out the arguments about the amount of damages would just waste Oracle's time though, since it's not going to get anywhere near what it wants from the small amount of copyright infringement in the ruling. Tidying things up at this stage will speed the firm onward to its appeal.

Google now has two weeks to file for legal fees if it wants to, a request that Oracle can contest. ®

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