Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Judge in Java Trial Tells Oracle and Google to Grow Up

The judge in the lawsuit between software giant Oracle and Google scolded both companies yesterday for staking out unreasonable positions in their fight over Google’s alleged infringement of Java.

“You’re both asking for the moon and you should be more reasonable,” Judge William Alsup told lawyers for both companies, according to a Reuters report.

Alsup told Oracle that the damages it expects to collect are too high, while Google’s argument that it owes Oracle nothing is “ridiculous.” Oracle has said its damages calculations range from $1.4 billion to as high as $6 billion. It recently told the court it is seeking $2.6 billion.

Alsup also talked about how internal Google emails appeared to show its executives knew it was using Java in Android. “I’m not saying there was willful infringement, but how are you going to answer this?” Alsup asked attorneys for Google during the hearing, according to the Mercury News.

The tone of exasperation with both sides seems to indicate that Alsup wants the two companies to start settlement talks. Oracle sued last year, accusing Google of infringing on Java patents which Oracle now owns as a result of its acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Alsup also granted Oracle’s request to grill Google CEO Larry Page and several other current and former Google employees in a pretrial deposition. (See the judge’s order below.) Oracle had sought the order last week, arguing that Page, as Google’s president, had been directly involved with its 2005 acquisition of Android and had participated in Java licensing discussions with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison last year. Google had opposed the request.

The judge also granted Oracle’s request to depose two other current and former Googlers, including Bob Lee, who’s now CTO at Square, but he denied the request to depose Dipchand “Deep” Nishar, a senior vice president at LinkedIn. (Update: I revised this paragraph to correct Nishar’s name. I also initially said the judge had granted Oracle’s request to depose Nishar when in fact he denied it. Sorry about that.)

Java Docket 229


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus