Judge Orders Google And Oracle To Reveal Journalist Payments
Judge orders companies to reveal financial relationship with commentators on the lawsuit
Google and Oracle have been told they must reveal their financial relationships with commentators and journalists discussing their court case ahead of the conclusion of the billion dollar lawsuit.
A court order from the US District Court for the Northern District of California has ruled that this disclosure must be filed by noon on Friday 17 August. The order follows the revelation in April that Florian Mueller, patent analyst and author of the influential FOSS Patents blog, had taken on Oracle as a consulting client.
The two companies are currently engaged in patent litigation to determine whether Google infringed Oracle’s intellectual property by using Java in its Android mobile operating system.
Oracle vs. Google
“The court is concerned that the parties and/or counsel herein may have retained or paid print or internet authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers who have and/or may publish comments on the issues in this case,” wrote William Alsup, US District Judge in the court order.
“Although proceedings in this matter are almost over, they are not fully over yet and, in any event, the disclosure required by this order would be of use on appeal or on any remand to make clear whether any treatise, article, commentary or analysis on the issues posed by this case are possibly influenced by financial relationships to the parties or counsel.
“Therefore, each side and its counsel shall file a statement herein clear identifying all authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers who have reported or commented on any issues in this case and who have received money (other than normal subscription fees) from the party or its counsel during the pendency of this action.”
Oracle and Google have been in court since April with Oracle seeking more than $1 billion (£630m) in damages from Google in compensation for using its Java technology in the Android OS.
Settlement talks in March failed and if Oracle wins, it could demand that smartphone manufacturers pay it a license fee for every Android handset it sells.
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