The judge overseeing the Oracle vs. Google lawsuit has just ruled that both parties have to disclose if they paid off any journalists or bloggers to write or comment on the case, according to court documents filed today.Apparently each company made payments to someone who wrote about the case. We’ve confirmed that one of them is Florian Mueller who pens the FOSS Patents blog. Mueller disclosed his relationship with Oracle in April.
Oracle sued Google, claiming it used Java patents in Android illegally. In May, the verdict was returned: Google won.
The case was popular fodder for news stories because of the amounts involved and its potential impact on Android and software development in general.
Oracle originally sued for $6 billion though the judge made Oracle trim those damages claims down considerably before the trial went to court, and ended up repeatedly rejecting its arguments for damages.
Today the judge issued this order to both parties:
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. 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.
This disclosure shall be filed by NOON ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2012.
Business Insider covered the trial as it went along, too. No payments were ever made to us.
Google told us, “We will comply with the order.”
Update: Oracle changed its mind and gave us a comment. Here’s a new post that includes it: Oracle To Google: Which Bloggers Did You Pay Off?