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Oracle v. Google - New Order Regarding Material To Be Produced At Wednesday's Hearing
Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 07:35 AM EST

The court has issued another clarifying order with respect to the upcoming hearing on Dr. Cockburn's third attempt at a damages report. (768 [PDF; Text]) It is hard to tell from this clarifying order where Judge Alsup is headed. Is he merely seeking to understand the details of this third approach? Do his questions indicate some suspicion that Dr. Cockburn didn't properly follow instructions ("what is the separate value of each patent in suit")? Or is the good judge trying to find some basis, any basis, for allowing this third attempt to stand? Hard to tell at this point.

What is clear is that the judge wants the parties to come to the hearing fully armed and ready for bear. And he won't be relying solely on the references chosen by Dr. Cockburn. Judge Alsup wants to know why Cockburn chose some references and ignored others and whether those ignored were more precise (and likely less generous to Oracle) than those used. Should make for a lively day.

In a separate filing, Oracle has confirmed that it has withdrawn Claim 14 of the '476 patent. (769 [PDF; Text]) This was presumed to be the case, and Oracle has now confirmed the action. As a result, the court has found Google's request for a motion for summary judgment on the validity of the '476 patent moot. (767 [PDF; Text])


03/02/2012 - 767 - ORDER DENYING PRECIS REQUEST AS MOOT re 716 Letter filed by Oracle America, Inc., 715 Letter filed by Google Inc.. Signed by Judge Alsup on March 2, 2012. (whalc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/2/2012) (Entered: 03/02/2012)

03/05/2012 - 769 - Letter from Michael A. Jacobs regarding Court order 767 and Oracle's withdrawal of Claim 14 of the '476 patent. (Jacobs, Michael) (Filed on 3/5/2012) (Entered: 03/05/2012)

03/05/2012 - 768 - ORDER REGARDING HEARING ON MARCH 7 re 756 Order. Signed by Judge Alsup on March 5, 2012.. (whalc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/5/2012) (Entered: 03/05/2012)





No. C 10-03561 WHA



Google requests to file a motion for summary judgment of invalidity of the ’476 patent. In response, Oracle has withdrawn Claim 14, the only asserted claim of the ’476 patent. The Court interprets Oracle’s withdrawal as an affirmative statement that it has surrendered Claim 14 in the same manner as previously surrendered claims, that is, Oracle may not renew this infringement claim in a subsequent action except as to new products. If this is not the case, Oracle must respond by NOON ON MARCH 5. For now, Google’s request is DENIED AS MOOT.


Dated: March 2, 2012.

/s/ William Alsup




No. C 10-03561 WHA



For the hearing on Wednesday, the Court would like to learn the following. How did Dr. Ian Cockburn choose which studies to rely on for the patent-value curves? Do studies not chosen, such as those listed in Harhoff et al., have less skewed curves? Please bring copies of all references and studies with patent-value curves, not just the three selected by Dr. Cockburn. Based on the three studies cited, what is the confidence interval for the proposition that the top 0.5% of patents are worth 32.7% of the value (also, that the top 4% of patents are worth 10.2%)? What would be the value of the ’104, ’205, and ’720 patents if they ranked as the bottom three of the “top” 22 patents? For all statistical analysis, including the conjoint analysis, the Court is interested in the confidence intervals of the results. Under the group and value approach, what is the separate value of each patent in suit?

Both sides shall exchange whatever illustrative materials they plan to use by 5:00 P.M. ON TUESDAY. Please come prepared to hand up precise evidence to back up assertions.

Dated: March 5, 2012.

/s/ William Alsup


[Morrison Foerster letterhead]

March 5, 2012

Hon. William Alsup
United States District Court, Northern District of California
450 Golden Gate Ave., Courtroom 8, 19th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102

Re: Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., Case No. 3:10-cv-03561-WHA

Dear Judge Alsup:

We write in response to the Court’s March 2 Order (ECF No. 767) to confirm that Oracle’s withdrawal of Claim 14 of the ’476 patent was made on the terms established by the Court (ECF No. 131), in the same manner as its earlier withdrawal of other patent claims against Google.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Michael A. Jacobs

Michael A. Jacobs


Oracle v. Google - New Order Regarding Material To Be Produced At Wednesday's Hearing | 255 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
News Pick discussions
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 08:17 AM EST
Thank you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Cockburn will be on the hot seat!
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 08:46 AM EST
You have to feel just a little sympathy for Cockburn. He
has been up at the plate twice already and swung for the
fences. But each of those times he made a great big strike.
Whiff!! Now, with the third try at the report, he has hit
a foul tip. He's still up to bat, but the pitcher (the
judge) has him where he wants him. Two strikes and no
balls (oops, another analogy).

So now Cockburn has to show up in court with his paperwork
and try and defend the indefensible. The Oracle lawyers
can't be thrilled with Cockburn trying to explain to the
skeptical judge why he (Cockburn) ignored the judge twice
already and how the current report addresses the issues.
Cockburn might be out of a job by the end of the week :-)

Drip. Drip. Drip. Oracle's case is slowly going down the

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Thread .... Non-Anonymous ...
Authored by: nsomos on Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 08:54 AM EST
As a general rule, the canonical threads should NOT be started
by anonymous posters.

Please post corrections to the article here.
A summary in title may be helpful.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks Thread
Authored by: bugstomper on Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 09:17 AM EST
Please post your comments about News Picks articles here. Remember to put the
title of the News Picks article in the Title box of your comment, and include a
link to the article for the convenience of readers after the article has
scrolled off the News Picks sidebar.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic threads
Authored by: bugstomper on Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 09:27 AM EST
Please stay off topic in these threads.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comes transcripts here
Authored by: bugstomper on Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 09:29 AM EST
Please post the transcripts using HTML markup posted as Plain Old Text to make
it easy for PJ to copy and paste them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

It is hard to tell from this clarifying order where Judge Alsup is headed
Authored by: Yossarian on Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 11:32 AM EST
IMO the judge himself does not know that. The judge sees two,
very different, views and he is not sure who is right. He does
not want to have the issue dragged forever. So he wants both
sides to present arguments, and counters, in one meeting.
With both positions, and counters, fresh in his mind he will
make his decision.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A Leopard being forced to change its spots.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 12:07 PM EST
It seems that our esteemed foss analyst also now believes
oracle patent case is perishing. If paid stooges no longer
believe that you can win then it is time to settle. I think
Oracle should offer to pay Google's legal fees as settlement
. Google might just accept.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Motion of little confidence
Authored by: NigelWhitley on Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 01:08 PM EST
I'm intrigued (and heartened) that Judge Alsup is taking an interest in the
confidence intervals for the studies on patent values. IANAL but IMHO it seems
the Judge has a stronger grasp of statistical principles than even most educated
people. Forgive me if I appear presumptuous given the likely background of those
reading Groklaw, but for those without a background in statistics a little
explanation may be useful.

Statistics is a way of analysing a set of data and drawing conclusions about
that set and, typically, about a larger set of data of which the collected data
is typical. For example, one may want to know the average price of bread or the
predominant age range purchasing hair gel. It is often impractical to collect
data from the whole population (a census) so a subset (sample) is used.

It is important that the actual set of data analysed is a "representative
sample" of the larger population. This is why Google has been making
statements regarding the samples used in the studies Dr Cockburn relied on
(IMHO,IANAL) - if those samples are not representative of the population under
debate (the Sun patents) then it brings into question the applicability of those
studies. One needs to justify the efficacy of studying apples to draw
conclusions about oranges. However, if one is making a study on the value of
vitamin C, a study of apples alone may still be useful to someone studying the
benefits of other fruit.

An important factor when selecting a sample is the sample size. The larger the
sample, the more likely it does not predominantly consist of unusual members of
the population (outliers). E.g if one wanted to determine how many perople
watched the Superbowl it would be foolish to ask one or two people and use that
to extrapolate to a total for the whole US. Similarly if one were to ask the
name of a favourite singer, two or three unconventional responses from a sample
of 100 could produce some disproportionate figures.

Statisticians have developed measures of the likelihood that the results from
their samples are indicative of the greater population. These measures are the
confidence levels of a particular outcome. Strictly speaking they estimate the
likelihood that the conclusion drawn is incorrect. So one might say that smoking
reduces life expectancy by five years with a 95% level of confidence (I've no
idea how accurate that really is btw). Likewise reductions of ten years or only
one might be predictable with a far lower level of confidence, because the
nature of a sample is that it consists of individuals and the population is not
uniform. A key factor in confidence levels is sample size - the larger the
sample, the more likely the result reflects the whole population.

So Judge Alsup is asking about the reliability of the figures quoted by Dr
Cockburn and about (possibly conflicting) results available from other studies.
If the variability of the data within the studies is high then the quoted values
of patents may be predicted with a low confidence level. Likewise if there is a
great deal of variation between studies.

As Mark points out, how Judge Alsup is leaning will affect how he interprets the
data. If the confidence levels are low he has a simple justification for
rejecting Dr Cockburn's conclusions. Likewise, if this time Dr Cockburn has been
thorough and there are no conflicting studies it makes it easy for the Judge to
accept his reasoning.

IMHO, if I was looking for a reason to accept a statistical study from someone
whose sums seem shaky (as Oracle's do to me) I wouldn't be asking them for more
details about those numbers. So I'm hopeful of Judge Alsup's reasoning behind
his requests, although not necessarily confident :-).
Nigel Whitley

[ Reply to This | # ]

Nine Years Ago Today ....
Authored by: Steve Martin on Tuesday, March 06 2012 @ 08:01 PM EST
... Caldera Systems Inc. d/b/a The SCO Group filed suit in Utah State Court
against International Business Machines, Inc., alleging tortious interference,
misappropriation of trade secrets, and assorted other claims.

What a long, strange trip it's been.

"When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffe, "Sports Night"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Oracle v Google, a judge looking for material
Authored by: webster on Wednesday, March 07 2012 @ 10:06 AM EST

The parties' positions are known. The Judge is looking to change
Oracle's position. They will not budge hoping that the Judge orders a
generous compromise. Since thellawyers will concede nothing, he will
have to base his order on something from the horse's mouth. The horse
will be there; his name is "expert."

The lawyers will just argue and repeat their positions. Listen to the
Judge and witneess.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Hearing is today, anyone have the exact time?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, March 07 2012 @ 10:42 AM EST
I checked the Oracle v. Google documents page, and it looks like the last update
was a document from February 2. Does anyone know exactly when today's hearing is
scheduled for, how long it is expected to last, and whether anyone will be there
to report on it to Groklaw?

[ Reply to This | # ]

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