Judge wants Ellison, Page to sit down and settle differences

Oracle's president and Google's head of mobile don't appear to be senior enough

The judge overseeing the dispute between Oracle and Google "strongly recommends" that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Google CEO Larry Page be ordered to attend mediation.

That means the judge wasn't happy with Oracle's suggestion that it would send its president, Safra Catz, or with Google's plan to send Andy Rubin, head of its mobile operation, to a court mediation session.

Judge William Alsup's recommendation, issued Thursday morning, follows Oracle's protest of Google's Rubin proposal.

"Oracle believes the prospects for a successful mediation will be far greater if Google's executive-level representative is a superior to Mr. Rubin, who is the architect of Google's Android strategy -- the strategy that gives rise to this case," Oracle wrote in a Wednesday evening filing.

It also noted that Rubin has represented Google in past, failed mediations.

Alsup first proposed the mediation last week and asked the companies to suggest high-level executives who would attend.

Now it's up to the magistrate judge, Paul Singh Grewal, to decide which executives should appear. In his Thursday order, Alsup referred the mediation to Grewal and recommended that he order Ellison and Page, as well as the executives the companies already suggested, to attend. But he said the final determination is up to Grewal.

The mediation sessions should take place this month, given that the case is set to go to trial on Oct. 31, Alsup wrote.

The companies have been battling about the way that Android handles Java applications. Oracle accuses Google of copying its code in Dalvik, the virtual machine in Android that runs applications. Google denies any wrongdoing.

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

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