Disclosure: I was in the pay of Google throughout the Oracle litigation.But <sob> I couldn’t say anything.
— Tim Bray (@timbray) August 7, 2012
A judge ruled today that Google and Oracle must disclose any payments made to Internet authors, journalists, or bloggers for published commentary related to the Google vs. Oracle lawsuit involving Android software.
The trial is just now ending, but Judge William Alsup issued a court order (PDF) today that calls for both companies to divulge which Internet-based journalists were compensated. The judge is apparently concerned that evidence in the case includes analysis from influenced bloggers.
FOSS Patents‘ Florian Mueller revealed in April that Oracle and Microsoft pay for posts on his blog, where he regularly discusses the Google vs. Oracle case.
The full court order is below:
- Judge orders Oracle to pay Google’s $300K in legal fees (9to5google.com)
- Oracle sues Lodsys, attempts to invalidate patents (9to5google.com)
- Google demands Oracle pay its $4M in court costs (9to5google.com)
- Microsoft willing to settle with Google/Motorola (9to5google.com)
The Court is concerned that the parties and/or counsel herein may have retained or paid print or internet authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers who have and/or may publish comments on the issues in this case. Although proceedings in this matter are almost over, they are not fully over yet and, in any event, the disclosure required by this order would be of use on appeal or on any remand to make clear whether any treatise, article, commentary or analysis on the issues posed by this case are possibly influenced by financial relationships to the parties or counsel. Therefore, each side and its counsel shall file a statement herein clear identifying all authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers who have reported or commented on any issues in this case and who have received money (other than normal subscription fees) from the party or its counsel during the pendency of this action.
Oracle, a database software giant based in Redwood City, Calif., sued Google in August 2010. It alleged the Android operating system violated a number of patents and copyrights within Java, which Oracle acquired through Sun Microsystems. Android currently powers more than 150 million mobile devices. Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., adamantly denied Oracle’s contention. It further claimed the Android team was unaware of Sun’s patents before the suit.
A jury decided in May 2012 that Google did not infringe upon Oracle’s patents. The verdict came unanimously as jurors in the Google vs. Oracle trial found six claims in U.S. Patent RE38,104, including two claims in U.S. Patent number 6,061,520, did not infringe.
Google and Oracle must file their full disclosures by 12 p.m. Aug. 17, 2012. The information could be reviewed for the appeal, as the judge noted above, or a possible remand of the case in the time ahead.