Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) was the winner in a copyright-infringement battle with Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) several months ago, but the judge in the case had some trouble with the amount of coverage the case generated – much of it from tech bloggers and commentators. Now, after the judge put out an order to both companies to produce lists of their paid commenters – and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) seeming reluctance to comply with the order – the judge has now ordered Oracle to pay $1 million to Google to cover the work of a court-appointed expert in the case.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) had originally asked for $4 million in compensation from Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) to cover its costs incurred to have several experts testify in the case, in which Oracle accused Google of stealing some of its Java coding for use in the Android operating system. The court found in Google’s favor late last year. As a result of being the “prevailing party” in the case, Judge William Alsup considered the total legal costs bill by Google and subtracted nearly $3 million of e-discovery costs as “intellectual efforts: and thus non-taxable.
So Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) came out ahead in this matter, though there was no ultimate resolution to the paid-writer order by Alsup from last month. Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) easily complied with the order, while Google maintained that it did not directly compensate anyone to write about the case, but did submit the possibility of indirect compensation through other parties. Still, the judge sent out a new order to Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), but Google stood by its initial claim and thus did nto submit names – while Oracle was up front about hiring patent consultant Florian Mueller at the outset of the tiral.
Just another victory, albeit small, for Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) in its ongoing patent battles in court. It doesn’t mark a huge windfall for Google, but the principle of victory behind it will likely ripple at least a little for investors like hedge-fund manager Chase Coleman of Tiger Global Management LLC.