Oracle tried to get $6 billion from Google, alleging that the search giant had ripped off Java code to build its Android operating system for smartphones and tablets. It lost. Big.Instead, Oracle is paying Google some of its legal fees—more than Google may end up paying for two incidents of copyright infringement, the only charges Oracle’s lawyers could make stick.
Here’s how that happened: Oracle attempted three times to file a damages report with the court. The third time was not the charm. “Oracle has behaved unreasonably,” Judge William Alsup wrote in an order allowing the third attempt, on the condition that Oracle pay Google’s legal fees and expenses for defending against the damages report.
The most Google could pay in the copyright case is $300,000. That’s $150,000, the statutory maximum, per incident of copyright infringement. (One of the two incidents involves test files that were never sent out, so it’s iffy if Oracle can prove damages there.)
Google spokesman Jim Prosser tells us that the check Oracle cut for Google’s legal fees is more than $300,000. Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined comment.
Of course, Google and Oracle both spent plenty of money in this case. As always, the lawyers were the only real winners. But for Oracle to have cut Google a check is a further embarrassment in an already humiliating legal misadventure.
The order itself is kind of hilarious, if you don’t work for Oracle or its legal team: It begins with the judge lecturing Oracle about wasting the court’s time while he’s in the midst of overseeing a big gang case. Check it out:
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