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05 September 2011, 17:00

Last attempt at arbitration in the Oracle and Google patent dispute

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Android Icon In a letter, William Alsup, the judge presiding over the case of Oracle versus Google concerning alleged violations of Java patents and copyright, has, for one last time, called on the parties to reach a settlement before the trial begins, probably at the end of October 2011. Specifically, he has invited the companies to send their "top executive officers" to talk with the court for a day or two about a settlement.

In his letter, the judge representing the district of northern California in San Francisco gives the two Silicon Valley firms until 7 September to respond and specify who they would prefer to send to the meeting. The court will then decide whether the two CEOs, Larry Ellison and Larry Page, would have to come.

When it took over Sun around a year ago, Oracle became the owner and maintainer of the Java programming language; it then sued Google last August for allegedly violating patents and copyrights from Java code in Android's Dalvik Virtual Machine. Now Oracle is demanding $2.6 billion in damages, though Judge Alsup believes that $100 million would have been a better starting point; that apparently is the level of the maximum license costs specified in talks with Sun.


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