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Android spat loser Oracle ordered to toss Google some change

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Oracle has been ordered to pay part of Google's legal bill in the database giant's failed Android patent infringement lawsuit.

Oracle had tried to prove in court that Google's mobile operating system Android unfairly copied its Java technology. Now Oracle will have to pay $1.13m to settle its opponent's tab, including the cost of bringing in court-appointed damages expert James Kearl, Judge William Alsup ruled yesterday. The court had previously ordered Oracle and Google to split Kearl's fees between them 50-50.

But the judge also tossed out Google's attempt to claim back nearly $3m in discovery fees owed to FTI Consulting.

Oracle allegations against Google were more or less shredded in June after its claims were substantially whittled down by the court. Initially, Larry Ellison's database beast and owner of the Java technology, courtesy of subsidary Sun Microsystems, had claimed 132 violations and $2.6bn in damages.

Judge Alsup, however, rejected most of Oracle's points and said it could not claim copyright on Java's software interfaces (APIs). He ruled Android had infringed on just a few lines of code, and so Oracle was awarded zero dollars in damages.

"A close follower of this case will know that Oracle did not place great importance on its copyright claims until after its asserted patents started disappearing upon PTO [United States Patent and Trademark Office] reexamination," Judge Alsup also noted this week. "Indeed, Oracle's first damages report barely mentioned copyright claims." ®

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