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27 October 2011, 13:05

Oracle-Google trial postponed until 2012

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Oracle Android Originally, the jury trial to decide on the alleged Oracle patent infringements by Google's Android mobile operating system was scheduled to begin on 31 October. However, the trial was postponedPDF because the responsible federal judge, William Alsup, had to give priority to a criminal trial. Now, it looks like the case will go on trial next year, although no exact date has been determined.

Alsup has proposed to divide the trial into three phases. In phase one, the copyright claims will be tried and determined by special verdict. In phase two, the court intends to try the alleged patent infringements. All remaining aspects, including potential damages and a decision on whether Google's actions were wilful, will be handled in phase three.

Oracle claims that Google's Android operating system infringes on seven patents that Oracle acquired when taking over Sun. The company has demanded $2.6 billion in damages. However, should the jury conclude that Google wilfully infringed on the patents, potential damages could be tripled.

Google will probably benefit from the delay: it had repeatedly asked that the trial be postponed until the legitimacy of the patents in question has been established. The patents are currently being reviewed by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The parties have until 18 November to object to Alsup's proposed trial plan.

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