Oracle ordered to pay Google $1 million in legal fees

September 5, 2012
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Oracle vs Google The legal saga between Oracle and Google has come to an end, with the judge deciding to throw the book at Oracle and order them to pay for Google’s legal fees.

This comes after Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court of Northern California ordered both parties to disclose any bloggers, journalists or other commentators under their payroll, which may influence public sentiment in any way. Both Oracle and Google complied, although with different kinds of responses.

Judge Alsup has ordered Oracle to pay $1,130,350 in legal fees for the court-appointed expert, Dr. James Kearl. It may be noted that Google originally asked Oracle to pay $4,030,669 in total costs. However, the court denied the $2,900,349 in e-discovery costs, as “many of the line-item descriptions are of non-taxable intellectual efforts.”

Still, Oracle gets $0 and even has to pay Google a million dollars, even as it originally sought $6 billion in patent-related damages.

Oracle’s lawyers tried to minimize its liability by arguing that the company should not have to pay for Google’s legal fees because they brought the patent-infringement debate to public attention as a pressing issue in the technology industry. However, Judge Alsup countered that “Oracle did not bring its API copyright claim for the benefit of addressing ‘a landmark issue of national importance,’ but instead fell back on an overreaching (albeit somewhat novel) theory of copyright infringement for its own financial interests late in litigation.”

In penning the decision, Alsup stressed that the court “will 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.”

Those interested in the legalese can check out the Order Regarding Bill of Costs via Groklaw. The rest of us industry observers are content to learn that Google was the “prevailing party” in this case.

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