Google and Oracle CEOs ordered to sit in settlement talks

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Google chief Larry Page and his Oracle counterpart Larry Ellison were ordered on Friday to attend a special settlement meeting previously called for in Oracle’s lawsuit over Java use in Android. The September 19 gathering, ordered by Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal, will include other executives but will require the two CEOs at a minimum. It followed after private mediation hit an impasse and the judge in the main case, William Alsup, called for court oversight to help force a resolution.
Although Google protests its innocence, much of the impasse has come over what the company is willing to pay versus what Oracle wants. The database firm has asked for $2.6 billion and as much as six billion, both figures that Google considers too steep. Oracle has been seeking as much as it can and has even called for destroying Android products that allegedly copy the patents, dealing serious damage to hardware partners.

Google has fought Oracle but has been steadily cornered on signs that it was not just using patented Java code that transferred from Sun to Oracle but that its executives knew they might have to license patents if they didn’t get a deal from then-owner Sun. Engineers have said they had access to Sun code at the time Android was being established at Google.

If the two firms fail to settle soon, a formal trial is due to start on October 31. A formal case could deal a blow to Google as it not only has to see Larry Page testify but Motorola as well.

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