No Hacks Flacked for Oracle or Google

Java LogoA federal judge’s tantalizing order that Oracle Corp. and Google Inc. identify any writers the company paid to comment on the copyright and patent lawsuit during the trial fizzled.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup expressed concern about relationships between commentators and the companies after the trial concluded.  (Oracle mostly lost.)

But on Friday, Oracle filed papers saying it hired blogger Florian Mueller, a frequent commenter on patent issues, to consult on “competition related matters.”  Oracle said he was not hired to write about the case and had disclosed the Oracle relationship on his blog.

Oracle also said some of its employees have blogged about the issues in the case but it did not track them, nor did it ask about or approve anything they wrote.

Google’s filing said it had not paid lawyers, authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers to report or comment on issues in the case.

The company did acknowledge that trade groups and other specialty writers wrote about legal issues in the case, but Google said it did not pay anyone to comment on issues in the case.

Oracle sued Google in 2010 claiming copyright and patent infringement over Google’s use of Java source code to operate Google’s Android phones.

In May, a jury said Google had infringed a fraction of Oracle’s copyrights but deadlocked on whether those infringements amounted to “fair use.”  It cleared Google of all remaining claims, including patent infringement.

Alsup then ruled the application programming interfaces (APIs) could not be copyrighted, eliminating the bit that Oracle had won from jurors.


Case:  Oracle v. Google, No. 10-3561WHA


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