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Expert Witnesses Expected to Significantly Impact Oracle / Google Patent Litigation

January 19, 2012

A recent article in PC World highlights the key roles expert witnesses play in patent litigation.  Experts: Oracle, Google Need to Focus on People as Well as Patents by Chris Kanaracus of IDG News discusses the difficulties with putting patent cases in front of jurors.

As Oracle’s claim against Google that Android violated a number of its patents and copyrights on Java moves closer to trial, experts and attorneys are weighing in on the difficulty of presenting complex patent drawings to jurors.  Scott Daniels, a partner and intellectual-property attorney with the Washington, D.C., law firm Westerman, Hattori, Daniels and Adrian is quoted in the article as follows:

“Inevitably, [jurors] begin to see which expert they regard as trustworthy, and which lawyers they like, and so on,” Daniels said. “You really have to personify the technical issues and put some good-guy, bad-guy drama to the whole thing. Otherwise, it’s just a mash.”

The article goes on to say:

There are typically two kinds of expert witnesses in patent cases, according to Daniels. There’s the “college professor” type who brings communication skills well-honed by years of teaching to undergraduate students, and the “hands-on guy, who can deliver a knockout punch for you at the right moment,” he said. Oracle vs. Google will probably feature more of the former, Daniels said.

It will be interesting to see how attorneys for Oracle and Google choose to present their intellectual property witnesses.  While the trial date has not yet been set, this is definitely a case to keep an eye on!

Read the complete article at Experts: Oracle, Google Need to Focus on People as Well as Patents by Chris Kanaracus of IDG News

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