Well you might also remember that in this case Judge William Alsup cautioned Oracle against asking for Infringer’s Profits in this case. In fact if we remember correctly he called the request “bordering on the ridiculous”. Well we are finding out exactly why he was able to come up with that in the first palce.
You see Judge Alsup has turned out to be very technically savvy. It seems that he is also a programmer and has “a significant amount of programming in other languages” (besides Java). He understands that the nine lines of code that Oracle want to claim are so significant are not. They are, as he put it, something that almost anyone could write in almost the same amount of time it took to copy and paste them.
He sums it up quite nicely in his retort to lead Counsel David Boies;
“I couldn’t have told you the first thing about Java before this problem. I have done, and still do, a significant amount of programming in other languages. I’ve written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times before. I could do it, you could do it. The idea that someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast, it was an accident. There’s no way you could say that was speeding them along to the marketplace. You’re one of the best lawyers in America, how could you even make that kind of argument?”
This will seriously put a dent into Oracle’s arguments moving forward and also brings us hope in the upcoming decision that Judge Alsup is going to make on the ability to copyright an API in the first place. As always we will be keeping our eye on this one, but in the meantime we are going to see if we can send Judge Alsup something nice like a fruit basket… If only there were more judges in the legal system that were technically savvy many of the current cases would not even get onto the docket.
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