The Oracle vs Google trial was one of the biggest legal spats in the tech industry in quite a while, with Oracle standing to gain billions of dollars from Google. At least that’s what Oracle wanted us (and the judge) to believe when they filed the lawsuit against Google. Judge Alsup has repeatedly asked Oracle to drastically reduce their damages claims and patent infringement claims, even before the trial started, because he never considered that Oracle deserved to win that much, even if Google did infringe on their intellectual property.
When the trial started, the tides started to quickly turn in Google’s favor, with the judge saying that, if Oracle won, they’d only deserve around $35 million at most. That’s quite a difference from Oracle’s original claims of $6 billion in damages. At that point, many in the development community were upset with Oracle for trying to get APIs copyrighted, and it seemed that, even if Oracle had won the case, they would’ve probably lost a lot more in the long term.
Fortunately, Google won the case, and although in the US there’s no rule that the losing party has to pay the trial expenses of the other party, sometimes judges can request it, especially on a big case between corporations like this one. Google has submitted a bill for $4 million that Oracle needs to pay, and this is only for things like transcripts, documents, and the damage experts, not the actual fees they paid to the lawyers. Adding the lawyers’ fees to the bill would amount to tens of millions of dollars.
This is Google’s list of items that they say cost them $4 million:
- In total, Google collected 97 million documents from more than 86 sources. An outside documentation services vendor, FTI Inc., searched those documents for relevant terms and converted the relevant results to TIFF images for Oracle to examine and for use at trial.
- Google handed over more than 3.3 million documents in response to Oracle’s requests, spanning more than 20 million pages.
- Sixty witnesses were deposed, with several deposed more than once.
If Google paid that much for their defense, I imagine that Oracle paid at least as much as well. So, again, even if Oracle won the case, they would’ve still been on the negative at the end of the trial, which makes the whole lawsuit a pretty reckless move on Oracle’s part.