Judge William Alsup has postponed the start date for the trial which will determine whether Google’s Android violates Oracle’s Java patents. “Before a trial date will be set, the issue of damages methodology must be finally sorted out,” he wrote in an order. “Put differently, the Court will not set a trial date until Oracle adopts a proper damages methodology, even assuming a third try is allowed (or unless Oracle waives damages beyond those already allowed to go to the jury).”
Another issue delaying the start of trial is whether a controversial e-mail written by Google engineer Tim Lindholm will be admitted into evidence. The message, which has been called a “smoking gun” in the case, reads, “What we’ve actually been asked to do by Larry and Sergey is to investigate what technology alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome. We’ve been over a hundred of these and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java.” Google has petitioned the appeals court to block the use of the e-mail in the trial, and the trial cannot begin until the appeals court rules. Judge Alsup wrote, “If Oracle will waive reliance on that email, then this roadblock would vanish.”
The eventual outcome of the trial could have big implications for Android developers.