updated 07:10 pm EDT, Wed October 26, 2011
Oracle won't challenge Google on Java in 2011
Judge William Alsup gave Google a brief reprieve Wednesday after he delayed Oracle's lawsuit over Java in Android until 2012. The proposed shift moved it past the original Halloween start date to sometime that would "not be in 2011." A first trial phase would focus on copyright disputes, while the second would focus on patents, and a third would cover all remaining issues, such as the ultimate damages.
Comments from both side would be open until November 18.
Stratifying the lawsuit is a likely gesture to Google to let it decide whether it wants to settle early on should it be found violating part of Oracle's claims. It would also postpone the question of whether or not its violation was intentional and would increase the damages.
If put into place, the schedule might not help Google avoid paying substantial damages. Oracle has been cleared to use possibly smoking gun e-mail that showed mobile VP Andy Rubin and top management aware it might cost as much as $100 million a year to properly license Java for Android's engine. Oracle gets to have key Google executives testify, even if Oracle will have to provide its own proof.
Oracle has wanted billions of dollars in compensation and, if successful, could make Google either take a steep hit to profits or else pass the costs along to hardware makers. [via Florian Mueller]