Google denied in latest attempt to bar controversial e-mail

Oracle has argued the e-mail from a Google engineer suggests willful infringement of Java

Google has received another setback in its vigorous efforts to keep a potentially damaging e-mail out of the lawsuit Oracle filed over alleged Java patent violations in the Android mobile OS.

Google must immediately turn over the draft e-mail by Google engineer Tim Lindholm, as well as related versions, according to a ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

"What we've actually been asked to do by [Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin] is to investigate what technical alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome," Lindholm wrote in the August 2010 e-mail to Android chief Andy Rubin. "We've been over a bunch of these, and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need."

Oracle sued Google last year, alleging Android was in violation of a number of Java patents and copyrights. Google has denied any wrongdoing.

But Oracle's attorneys have seized upon the Lindholm e-mail, apparently seeing it as a smoking gun that could help convince a jury that Google willingly infringed on Java.

Google has denied the e-mail suggests anything of the kind, saying in a previous filing that it "concerns an investigation made in anticipation of Oracle's lawsuit, shortly after Google learned of the patents that Oracle is asserting."

Still, for weeks Google has been trying to get the e-mail redacted, arguing it was subject to attorney-client privilege and that in revealing it, Oracle had violated a protective order.

The rationale for Ryu's decision was not immediately clear Friday, but those reasons will come in another filing soon, she wrote.

Ryu is overseeing discovery matters in the case, with Judge William Alsup serving as the main presiding judge.

Google indicated during a hearing on the matter Thursday that it planned to appeal Ryu's decision to Alsup, according to her ruling.

"Defendant also appeared to believe that it need not produce the Lindholm e-mails until Judge Alsup rules on the appeal," Ryu wrote. "Defendant is mistaken."

Google must produce the e-mails at once, as well as immediately make arrangements for Lindholm to give a deposition in the case, Ryu ruled.

"The odds are long against Judge Alsup overruling Magistrate Judge Ryu on this one," software patent expert Florian Mueller, who has been following the case closely, wrote in a blog post Friday. "Judge Alsup himself has previously shown absolutely no understanding for Google's attempts to suppress this particular piece of evidence."

"But Google's lawyers may already be thinking of a possible appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) after losing the trial," Mueller added. "They might make the admissibility of the Lindholm e-mail as evidence a cornerstone of a (post-trial) appeal to the CAFC, and if that's what they want to do, they have to exhaust all of their procedural options in the district court, no matter how likely or, in this case, unlikely that is going to lead to anything other than further annoying Judge Alsup."

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileOracleGoogleAndroidlegaltelecommunicationintellectual propertypatentMobile OSes

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

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?