Oracle at one time hoped to win as much as $7B USD from Google for its allegedly unauthorized use of certain license-only Java source files. That wouldn't be a bad payday -- in fact it would almost entirely justify the $7.4B USD Oracle paid to acquired Java-maker Sun Microsystems.
But Oracle's sweet dreams quickly became bitter nightmares as a jury ruled that Google was not guilty of the majority of Oracle's copyright or patent infringement claims. Faced with the prospect of a billion dollar settlement shrinking to a couple million dollars, Oracle's lawyers are now spinning their wheels in a last ditch effort to try to jump-start the almost-dead lawsuit.
In Northern District of California (San Francisco) they submitted a request to presiding Judge William Alsup requesting $0 of damages "related to Google’s infringement of Oracle’s copyrights in connection with (1) the rangeCheck code in TimSort.java and ComparableTimSort.java, and (2) the eight decompiled files (seven 'Impl.java' files and one 'ACL' file)."
Judge Alsup seemed somewhat surprised at the apparent surrender from the Oracle legal crew, commenting, "Is there a catch I need to be aware of?"
Well, there was indeed a catch. Oracle is agreeing to toss aside whatever pittance it would have received for the few scraps of infringement the jury tossed its way for a reason. By ending the trial, it will be able to move ahead more quickly to its appeal, where it will challenge the jury's findings on the more major infringement claims.
It if it wins, the case will be sent back before Judge Alsup. According to IDG News service, Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs mustered a quip, telling Judge Alsup and the audience in attendance, "I hope we see you again after an appeal."
Oracle is in a tough spot as it now finds itself having to play offense against Google, while playing defense against Hewlett-Packard which claims that Oracle breached contracts when it dropped support for Intel Itanium architecture. That lawsuit is also tied to the Sun acquisition, as Sun Microsystems (and now Oracle, by proxy) makes the SPARC processor architecture, an Itanium competitor. Oracle denies breaching its contract to favor its new acquisition, but on the surface there's certain somewhat of an appearance that it did precisely that.
Oracle wasn't the only big loser in the Google Java case. The "not guilty" ruling was also a blow to blogger Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents who long claimed that Google would be found guilty and have to pay massive damages. Coincidentally, Mr. Mueller's objectivity was recently called into question when it was revealed he was on Oracle's payroll.