Seven attempts but no cigar for Google

Google fail to suppress Lindholm email evidence in Oracle court case

Chris Mayer

The appeals court sides with the district court’s ruling to allow the potentially damaging Lindholm email to be used in the protracted court case

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in
Washington dealt Google another blow yesterday, after rejecting
their appeal over the decision to allow the potentially damning
Lindholm email in their embittered court case with

The battle over Google’s use of Java patents within their
Android platform has been a protracted affair, and that’s probably
an understatement. This was Google’s 7th attempt to withold the
evidence from the jury, who are set to meet as early as

A three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit denied
Google’s writ of mandamus to give privilege to the Lindholm email,
finding the claim to be undermined by the content within the email,
the instructions on the email ( containing ‘Google Confidential’
according to the judgement) and also the fact that the
addressees of the email were not legal counsel to

The Lindholm email could be one of Oracle’s
key pieces of evidence, as it reveals that Lindholm
was asked by Google
bosses Larry Page and Sergey Brin to
“investigate what technical alternatives exist to Java for Android
and Chrome.” In response he e-mailed Android boss Andy
Rubin with the following, “We’ve been over a bunch of these, and
think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a
license for Java under the terms we need.” If Oracle attempt to
play this card early in the trial, it pretty much tells the jury
that Google were aware an infringement took

Analysts were quick to air their thoughts regarding the
Florian Mueller, of the FOSS Patents blog,
said that he thought
Google’s last-ditch attempt was a long
a few weeks back but added:

At the time I thought that Google might,
at the most, achieve a delay. But with today’s decision, which was
handed down without even allowing an oral argument, this potential
obstacle is gone and it’s all up to Oracle and the presentation of
its revised damages claims. The case 
go to trial in mid-April
, if everything goes according to

Florian added that Oracle could get a ‘lot of
mileage out of this email’. Groklaw
offered a different view saying:

For all of the problems created by the Lindholm email, this is
not the end of the world. There remains a very plausible
explanation for the email and its content, and with the right
presentation to the jury, it need not (and should not) support any
claim of willfulness asserted by Oracle against Google. But that is
for trial. For now, Google is left to clean up this spill.

It appears that Google’s attempts to quell this invaluable piece
of evidence have failed. They could appeal again but it seems that
this is no longer an option, with seven refusals now. The saga

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