Google still trying to remove damning e-mail from court case

Documents filed on Monday in its battle with Oracle offer a glimpse into the volume of data involved in such suits

Google continues to argue that a damning e-mail in its battle with Oracle shouldn't be shown to jurors because it was confidential and intended to be privileged communication with an attorney.

The e-mail in question suggests that Google knew it needed a Java license for its Android platform. Oracle is suing Google, claiming that Android violates Java patents property.

The judge overseeing the case has already said that Google can't remove the e-mail from the record. But Google continues to argue it should be allowed to, and in early August the judge asked both Oracle and Google to file all factual information they have regarding the e-mail by today.

The documents filed by Google offer a glimpse into the amount of data produced by this kind of lawsuit.

Google paralegals have turned over 97 million documents related to this case to a third-party vendor that processes the documents, said Kristin Zmrhal, a project manager of discovery support at Google, in a declaration filed Monday.

The vendor filters the documents using search terms agreed upon by Google and Oracle and then tags those documents. Attorneys working for another vendor then review those documents, she said. They look for words like "privileged" and "confidential" as well as names of attorneys that might be in the "to" line of an e-mail. Such documents would be considered confidential and would not become part of the case.

Those attorneys have reviewed more than 11 million documents and have produced 3.7 million documents for this case, she said.

Zmrhal also explains, as Google has in previous filings with the court, that Google's e-mail service autosaves a draft of e-mails every 10 seconds to 60 seconds, saving those drafts. Google has argued that the e-mail in question was a draft and that the author hadn't yet written the words "Google confidential" at the top of the document or typed in the lawyers' names in the "to" field.

A declaration by the author of the e-mail, Google engineer Tim Lindholm, was also filed on Monday and he describes a similar scenario. "The documents constitute a communication to Google in-house attorney Ben Lee," he said.

Google has good reason to want to keep the e-mail from a jury.

"What we've actually been asked to do by Larry and Sergey is to investigate what technology alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome," Lindholm wrote in the e-mail. "We've been over a hundred of these and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java." He was referring to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and wrote the e-mail after a meeting with Google attorneys and engineers to discuss Oracle's claims of patent infringement.

When the e-mail surfaced during a hearing last month, Judge William Alsup, who is overseeing the case, told Google: "You're going to be on the losing end of this document with Andy Rubin on the stand." Rubin runs Android for Google.

By 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time, Oracle hadn't filed any documents related to the e-mail.

The lawsuit dates back to last year when Oracle accused Google of infringing on Java-related patents in Android. A jury trial in the case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, is set for Oct. 31.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsGoogleintellectual propertysmartphonespatentAndroidlegalOracle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?