Google Demanding Oracle Pay $4 Million in Legal Fees

Posted by at 1:26 pm on July 7, 2012

Accompanying documentation filed with Judge William Alsup on Thursday night, Google head lawyer Robert Van Nest argued that Oracle must pay the search engine giant $4 million to cover the costs generated during this year’s Java court battle. A public list of itemized expenses was not made available, but the bill included $2.9 million for organization of copied court-necessary documents, $143,341 for transcript services, and $986,978 for compensation of the court-appointed experts. Oracle is expected to contest the fees.

To justify the multi-million dollar document-processing fee, Google’s archivist revealed that she collected documents from 86 custodians, and generated 97 million documents for electronic processing and review. The fee is also justified by multiple document-to-TIFF conversion procedures for presentation, as well as nine requests by Oracle for production of documents with 204 individual document requests. These requests generated 3.3 million documents, with Google’s 60 separate document production periods spanning 20 million pages. Precedent from prior cases adjucated by Judge Alsup is quoted in the justification for the fees.

During the trial, in which Oracle tried to sue Google for plagiarizing some 37 instances of Java code in Android, Google’s self titled “Chief Java Architect” Joshua Bloch admitted to “likely” copying nine lines of Oracle’s Java code for Google’s Android during the contentious trial, but defended himself by saying he had inadvertently reused an algorithm he designed nearly a decade prior. Bloch called the copying “good engineering practice”. The judge agreed, falling back on some previous coding experience of his own. Ultimately, the jury found duplicated code, but no infringement. Buffeted further by rulings from Alsup that eliminated the possibility of any damages, Oracle agreed to a $0 dollar settlementfrom Google, with no admission of infringement by the search engine giant.

The case is responsible for a precedent-setting ruling confirming the non-copyrightable nature of application programming interfaces, or APIs — the instructions to developers on how to build their own applications for a given platform. The language in the 41-page brief clearly attempts to prevent future legal procedural maneuvers from undermining the ruling.

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