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Judge Blames Oracle for Latest Delay in Google Trial

Tue, 01/17/2012 - 7:06am
Maisie Ramsay

The judge handling Oracle's lawsuit over Google's use of Java in Android appears to be getting frustrated with the astronomical damage claims being tossed around in the case.

Judge William Alsup cancelled the case's latest trial date late last week and said he won't set a new one until Oracle "adopts a proper damages methodology."

"For this 'delay,' Oracle has no one to blame but itself, given that twice now it has advanced improper methodologies obviously calculated to reach stratospheric numbers," Alsup said in an order.

Oracle said last summer it would seek as much as $6.1 billion in damages from Google over its allegations that the search giant violated its patents on Java, which it acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010. Oracle used estimates from damages expert Iain Cockburn to support its massive claims.

At the time, Google called the estimates "orders of magnitude beyond any reasonable valuation of the intellectual property at issue." Judge Alsup agreed with Google, suggesting the number should be closer to $100 million. Oracle submitted another estimate that was again tossed out by the judge and now has to come up with a third damages report before the trial can proceed.

The lawsuit was filed in August 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. IDC analyst Al Hilwa told Wireless Week at the time that Oracle filed the suit to force Google into a proper license for Java to stop it from further fragmenting the open source technology.

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