Judge orders Oracle to give Google $1 million for court costs

But Google had originally asked for $4 million, including e-discovery expenses

A judge on Tuesday ordered Oracle to pay about US$1 million to Google for costs related to the companies' lawsuit over the Android mobile OS, but the ruling is only a partial victory for Google, which had originally sought about $4 million.

Judge William Alsup rejected Google's demand that Oracle also pay $2.9 million for costs related to document discovery, calling the search giant's arguments "unpersuasive" and also accusing it of padding the bill.

"The problem with Google's e-discovery bill of costs is that many of [the] item-line descriptions seemingly bill for 'intellectual effort' such as organizing, searching, and analyzing the discovery documents," Alsup said in the ruling filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. "Most egregious are attempts to bill costs for 'conferencing,' 'prepare for and participate in kickoff call,' and communications with co-workers, other vendors, and clients. These are non-taxable intellectual efforts."

But Alsup did agree that Oracle should pay out roughly $1 million to cover Google's share of fees paid to a court-appointed expert witness for the trial.

Oracle sued Google in August 2010, alleging that Android violated patents and copyrights Oracle holds on the Java programming language. Google was largely exonerated in the case, which concluded earlier this year, but Oracle plans to appeal. Oracle had originally sought billions in damages from Google.

As the prevailing party in the initial case, Google was able to seek recovery of costs.

An Oracle spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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

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