Judge rejects Oracle's proposed plan to speed up Android trial

Oracle had offered to drop its patent claims while keeping the option to bring them up later

A judge on Friday shot down Oracle's offer to put its Java patent-infringement claims against Google over the Android mobile OS on hold, in exchange for a speedier trial on its copyright claims.

Oracle sued Google in August 2010, claiming Android violated a number of Java copyrights and patents. Google has denied wrongdoing, saying Android uses a "clean-room" implementation of Java that doesn't infringe on Oracle's intellectual property.

Oracle proposed the alternative plan earlier this week, seemingly eager to get the long-simmering case to trial as soon as possible.

"The piecemeal approach suggested by Oracle as a trial alternative will not be adopted," Judge William Alsup said in the ruling filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. "The [court's schedule] simply does not permit that luxury. If Oracle wishes to voluntarily dismiss any damages claim, it will have to do so with prejudice; otherwise, a dismissal is nothing more than an invitation to piecemeal litigation."

One proposal within Oracle's alternative plan would have seen the company's patent claims dismissed without prejudice, meaning it could revive them at a later date. Under another proposed scenario, Alsup would "sever and stay" the patent claims for nine months.

The judge has previously ruled the trial would take place in up to three phases covering patent, copyright and damages issues, all heard by the same jury, and seems intent on preserving that plan.

Alsup has been assigned to a large-scale prosecution of alleged gang members, "which has resulted in four lengthy trials, including one underway now, without any relief from the remainder of his normal caseload," he wrote in Friday's ruling. "This has led to a backlog of trial-ready cases waiting their turn."

The judge recently said he won't set a trial date until Oracle submits an acceptable damages methodology. In his ruling Friday, Alsup granted Oracle's expert the go-ahead to make a third try.

If all goes well, the case could "could still possibly be tried starting mid-April," but if not, it will probably slip until the last four months of this year, Alsup wrote. "This order, however, gives no assurances as to when the case can be tried."

In a filing late Wednesday, Google offered a lukewarm response to Oracle's proposed alternative trial plan, referring to it only in passing. "With respect to Oracle's extensive discussion of potential alternative trial plans, those same issues were briefed by the parties and decided by the Court just last week, and the Court did not ask the parties for further comment on those issues," the filing stated.

Google has previously argued that the case should be stayed pending a number of ongoing patent reexaminations by U.S. patent authorities, saying that the outcome could streamline the issues in dispute.

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!


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.
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


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?