Oracle has agreed to waive its patent infringement claims against Google in the long-running lawsuit centred around the use of Java in Android, in a bid to speed up the case by focusing on its copyright infringement claims and to force an injunction on Android products.
Patents analyst Florian Mueller revealed the surprising news in a blog post on Tuesday. Oracle asked to "sever and stay its patent claims" for at least nine months, in a bid to take the copyright infringement claims to trial in winter or spring this year.
If the judge doesn't like Oracle's proposal, then the software giant will ask the court to "dismiss the patent claims without prejudice and set a date certain for the trial of copyright liability and copyright damages for spring 2012, followed by a hearing on Oracle's request for a copyright injunction if Oracle prevails on liability".
Mueller explained that the move by Oracle to speed the trial and prioritise the copyright infringement claims points to its clear priorities in the dispute – to gain an injunction against Android.
"I have said all along that damages in this case could amount to billions of dollars, but the strategic value of an injunction far exceeds that of even the most aggressive damages award," he said in the blog post.
"Oracle wants that injunction as soon as possible and it is willing to bet, in the near term, on the copyright part of its case."
He added that Oracle's decision may have been swayed by a ruling from judge William Alsup in September 2011 when he threw out a Google request for a summary judgement, which was intended to do away with the copyright element of the case.
"While the judge made it clear that his denial of summary judgement wasn't automatically a finding that Oracle would prevail with its copyright claims, some of the reasons he provided clearly showed that Google would face a considerable hurdle if it wanted to convince a jury that Oracle's API-related files shouldn't be protected by copyright," argued Mueller.
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