Judge orders Oracle to pay Google $1M for court expert fees

Google wins some and loses some while the federal judge in the case gives up on trying to track down any more paid commentators in the case.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

The federal judge in Oracle v. Google has given up on trying to find any more paid journalists, bloggers, and similar commentators in the case while also ordering Oracle to hand some money over to Google.

In a new order issued on Tuesday, Judge William Alsup said that the U.S. District Court of Northern California would "take no further action regarding the subject of payments by the litigants to commentators and journalists and reassures both sides that no commentary has in any way influenced the Court’s orders and ruling herein save and except for any treatise or article expressly cited in an order or ruling."

On August 7, Alsup initially issued an order demanding that both parties to declare if they had kept any journalists and/or commentators on the payroll during the duration of the case. Both Google and Oracle's legal teams had until Friday, August 17 to comply.

Oracle disclosed that it did retain blogger Florian Mueller as a consultant, who had disclosed that on his blog when the trial started. But Alsup wasn't satisfied with Google's response, issuing an order on August 20 that the Internet giant list "all commenters known by Google to have received payments as consultants, contractors, vendors, or employees" by Friday, August 24.

Google stood by its previous claims that it did not pay any journalists or bloggers, but that other individuals might have received compensation in relation to the case, including Google attorney William Patry and Java creator James Gosling.

Both Oracle and Google's legal teams met in court on August 23 to discuss Google's motion for judgment as a matter of law filed in July, asking for a new trial in regards to the nine lines of code in the rangeCheck method, on which the jury found Google liable for copyright infringement this past spring.

While the matter of the paid commentators was not addressed at all during the hearing, attorneys from both sides of the courtroom repeated their arguments for and against a new trial.

Bill of Costs

Also on Tuesday, Judge Alsup issued a lengthy order regarding the bill of costs in the trial.

The major takeaway is that Google won most of what it asked for after a June 20 hearing addressing legal costs -- although the court asserted that Google's request was "granted" and "denied in part."

Oracle has been ordered to pay $1 million to Google to cover expenses incurred by the work of court-appointed expert Dr. James Kearl.

Overall, Google also asked Oracle to pay $4,030,669 in legal costs, but the judge denied the request for $2,900,349 in e-discovery costs because "many of its line-item descriptions are of non-taxable intellectual efforts."

All other requests for costs were granted as Alsup wrote that Google was the "prevailing party" in this case and that "Oracle has failed to overcome the presumption of awarding costs to Google."

For a look at the judge's orders, scroll through the documents below:

Oracle v. Google: Court Fees

Oracle v. Google: Order Denying Motion for New Trial

Editorial standards