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The Great Oracle v Google Android Trial Postponed Indefinitely

There’s still the chance that the copyright issues could go to trial first, separate from the more convoluted patent claims

District Court Judge William Alsup Wednesday postponed Google's billion-dollar-plus trial for allegedly infringing Oracle's Java patents and copyrights in Android that was tentatively set to start October 31. No new date has been scheduled.

Judge Alsup previously warned that he might have to vacate the date reportedly to hear a murder trial that starts October 24 and could run until January or February but now he's told Oracle and Google's lawyers that he might shift their case to another judge.

Complaining that he's never been so overworked in the 37 years of his professional life, he told them, "Your case is huge and needs the attention of somebody who can give it more time than I can."

He asked them to consider a trial before a magistrate judge - presumably the one who's been handling some evidentiary issues - if not he threatened to bring in another federal judge whether they liked it or not. They wouldn't be able to object.

There's still the chance that the copyright issues could go to trial first, separate from the more convoluted patent claims. Judge Alsup prefers they be split in what may be a vain hope that a decision one way or the other will lead to a broader settlement.

Oracle objects to any split. So what it might try for instead, according to the FOSS Patents blog, is a summary judgment on its claimed API-related copyrights. It could also try for a summary judgment on Google's equitable defenses like laches, equitable estoppel, implied license and waiver to limit the case.

Oracle and Google are waiting for Judge Alsup to rule on whether an incriminating Google e-mail saying Google should license the Java IP can be admitted in evidence. Google claims attorney-client privilege.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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