U.S. District Judge William Alsup took both Oracle and Google to task at a hearing where he told both parties to be more reasonable in their requests for resolution of the Java patent case.
Oracle's patent infringement lawsuit
against Google heated up at a tense court hearing that demonstrated just how
far apart the two sides remain.
At a July 21 hearing in San Francisco
characterized as "testy" by one report, U.S. District Judge William
Alsup chided both sides as unreasonable and at various points called Google "ridiculous"
and Oracle "crazy."
"You're both asking for the moon,
and you should be more reasonable," Alsup told lawyers for Oracle and
Google, according to a Reuters report
Oracle brought its suit against Google
in August 2010, claiming that in the making of its Android mobile operating
system Google infringed on seven patents pertaining to Java. Oracle owns Java
through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010. However, a preliminary
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) re-examination of the patents in the
suit so far indicates that many of the claims in at least five of the patents
have issues and have been temporarily rejected by the USPTO.
Meanwhile, in court filings Oracle says
it is owed anywhere from $1.4 billion to $6.1 billion in damages, according to
calculations by the database giant's expert. Yet, Google dismisses that claim
and denies it owes Oracle at all.
"Zero is ridiculous," Alsup
said in rejecting Google's position that its ad revenue should not be factored
into any damages. However, according to a Bloomberg report
, Alsup also
called Oracle "crazy" for trying pin its damages claim to the entire
value of the Android market.
Alsup has in the past questioned
whether Google openly and willfully infringed Java patents. In a past prehearing
notice, Alsup said it "appears possible that early on Google recognized
that it would infringe patents protecting at least part of Java."
At the July 21 hearing, Oracle attorney
Steven Holtzman probed that theory, entering into evidence an internal email
sent to Google's Android honcho Andy Rubin from a Google engineer that said
Google needed to "negotiate a license for Java," according to