Friday, September 9, 2016

Oracle files proposed notice of deposition of Google witnesses regarding discovery misconduct

On August 25, Oracle and Google filed sworn statements (and Oracle also filed an objection) regarding Oracle's motion for an Android-Java copyright re-retrial over alleged discovery misconduct and lies to the jury. Judge Alsup then ordered the parties to respond to each other's filings with new sworn declarations, which were due today.

To be of service to loyal readers following the case in detail, I have uploaded Google's declaration as well as Oracle's filing (a declaration as well as a proposed notice of deposition of Google witnesses) to Scribd.

Unfortunately, I don't have time, at least at the moment, to analyze these documents in detail and share any observations. However, I don't want this to be misunderstood as my positions on the issues in this case or my belief as to the most likely outcome having changed. So I'd like to explain, just quickly:

Due to my focus on two app development projects, my blogging has slowed down massively in recent years. For example, this is only my 36th post this year (with more than two thirds of the year already behind us), while I wrote a minimum of 40 posts in any given month of the year 2012. Some slowdown would obviously have resulted from the fact that many smartphone disputes have been settled, but not to this extent.

I'm working very hard right now to launch both games (one on iOS first, the other one on Android and iOS simultaneously) before Thanksgiving weekend. Both games are almost feature-complete, with a lot of the current efforts already relating to final touchup and testing. Both have taken much longer to develop than initially planned, but they've also become even better than I would have predicted at the outset--and those were ambitious projects from the beginning.

I have to focus as there still is some hard work on my part to be done, though I have recently stopped doing any coding myself. Now, after six years of "smartphone IP wars," there are only two really big cases pending: this copyright case here and the Apple v. Samsung design patent matter. As a right holder who has already invested a huge amount of money as well as "sweat equity" in software development, I care very much about Oracle v. Google, which is no longer really about APIs as much as it is about software copyright in general. As a potential future defendant against trolls, I'm deeply concerned about the prospect of an unapportioned disgorgement of profits over a design patent on a single icon or whatever other design.

The Supreme Court will hear Samsung's appeal in a month (one month and two days, to be precise). This is obviously not the time to reduce or discontinue my coverage of that matter. It will be over soon. I guess the decision will even come down before Christmas, or in January maybe.

By contrast, Oracle v. Google will take much longer. I honestly can't predict how much time I'll find to comment on it. It could be that I'll somehow manage to find the time to blog about it like in the past, especially because I disagree with 99% of everything else I read about that case, but it could also be that my next post on this case after this one will be my commentary on the final outcome after a settlement or after all appeals have been exhausted. Or anything in between those extremes. Whatever it may be, it has nothing to do with how important this matter is to software developers like me or with what I believe the legally and factually correct outcome should be.

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