Google, Oracle patent trial pushed back to April

Oracle and Google will have to wait even longer (again) before the two Silicon Valley giants go to trial over Java-related patents.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Google and Oracle have come a long way in their patent infringement lawsuit, and the two are still not even close to presenting their cases at trial yet.

Judge William Alsup at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has pushed the trial start date back -- yet again -- to Monday, April 16.

According to the order filed on Tuesday, the trial is expected to last eight weeks, with the first day "devoted to jury selection and opening statements."

Judge Alsup added at the end of the order, "Google is hereby encouraged to withdraw its invalidity defenses that have failed in the reexamination process as a way to further streamline the trial on the two patents remaining in suit."

For reference, Oracle is suing Google regarding patented Java technology that appears on the Android mobile operating system -- although how many and which patents have routinely been up for debate, causing inevitable delays for the case.

Google’s lawyers have repeatedly responded by discussing Google’s relationship with Sun Microsystems, Java’s creator now owned by Oracle. Google argued that Sun was a big fan of Android from the start, seeing it as a tool to “spread news and word about Java.”

The two Silicon Valley giants were actually very close to getting a trial underway as March 19 was announced as the start date back in January.

Of course, considering the complicated history of this case over the last several months, it's no surprise that the trial has been delayed again.

Oracle hoped to get a trial started as soon as possible last July when the two companies met at the United States Courthouse in San Francisco — only to be scolded by Judge Alsup for not properly specifying which exact patents that Google was allegedly violating.

The following day, it looked as though a trial would be imminent as Alsup assigned a trial start date on Halloween 2011. That hasn’t panned out — although it did become evident that a trial was inevitable as even dragging in CEOs Larry Page and Larry Ellison to court couldn’t bring about a settlement.

Just before October 31, Google petitioned Alsup regarding a series of questions that it believed still needed answering, and Alsup responded by delaying the trial to after the end of 2011.

To be fair, when the pretrial order was issued in January, it stipulated that the trial would start "a date on or after March 19."

via FOSS Patents


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