Oracle fights back against Google’s attempt to sanction a lawyer after trial

From ArsTechnica:

A copyright dispute between Oracle and Google was resolved in May by a federal jury, which found that Google’s Android operating system didn’t infringe copyrighted code owned by Oracle. A post-trial skirmish over once-confidential Google information is heating up, though, with Google asking for sanctions against one of Oracle’s lead attorneys.

Now, Google says (PDF) it should get additional fees because Oracle attorney Annette Hurst disclosed Android revenue and profit figures in open court. She also revealed that Google paid $1 billion to be the default search bar on Apple’s iPhone. Those figures should have stayed confidential, say Google lawyers, but once a Bloomberg reporter got hold of a transcript of the hearing, they became headline news.

Yesterday, Oracle filed court papers (PDF) responding to the accusations. Oracle points out that Hurst’s statements were made “in response to probing questions from Magistrate Judge Ryu,” and were an “on-the-fly rebuttal of mischaracterizations made by Google’s counsel.” The statements didn’t violate the protective order, Oracle argues, and they fall short of the legal requirements for contempt.

“Sanctions… require ‘extreme circumstances’ and a level of bad faith and willfulness that is not present here,” states Oracle in its response.

The statements came up during a January 14 hearing over discovery issues, in which Oracle was trying to compel Google to hand over more data, including revenue share data. Google lawyer Robert Van Nest said that the information had already been provided in a deposition. Hurst pulled up the relevant transcript on a laptop in court and sought to explain to …

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