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Google won't face Oracle in court until next year

Judge proposes three-phase trial to deal with copyright and patent issues

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The Oracle v Google patent punch-up definitely won't be heard this year, according to a court filing.

The Northern California court judge, William Alsup, has said that "the trial will not be in 2011", in a filing that also lays out the trial plan for the case.

Oracle is suing for both copyright and patent infringement over Google's use of Java Standard Edition in its Android mobile OS.

The judge is proposing that the case be heard in three phases in front of the same jury, with phase one dealing with copyright claims, phase two hearing the arguments on patents and then phase three taking care of all other issues, including damages and wilfulness.

However, evidence presented at any stage can be used in another stage, the court document said, adding:

If, for example, more general “Java” issues are pertinent in Phase One ... then the more general evidence on “Java” may be presented in Phase One and considered again, as relevant, in any subsequent phase.

The two parties have until noon on 18 November to offer any legal arguments against the proposed plan. ®

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