Court Roundup

California

Oracle, Google gird for trial on Android dispute

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Oracle and Google are digging in their heels as they prepare for an upcoming trial.

Two of Silicon Valley's most powerful companies, they haven't agreed on much since Oracle filed its lawsuit against Google 19 months ago, and there appears to be little chance for a settlement before the trial is scheduled to begin April 16.

The dispute hinges on Oracle's allegations that Google's widely used Android software for mobile devices infringes on copyrights and patents that Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems Inc. for $7.3 billion in 2010. The technology in question is Java, a programming language that has been around since the 1990s.

Oracle Corp., a business software maker with $36 billion in annual revenue, is seeking hundreds of millions in damages.

Google Inc., which relies on its dominance of Internet search and advertising for most of its $38 billion in annual revenue, believes it won't have to pay more than a few million dollars.

A joint statement filed this week provided the latest reminder of the friction between the two companies.

In the papers, Google argued that the trial could be shortened from its currently scheduled duration of eight weeks and sought to appear before U.S. District Judge William Alsup instead of a jury. Oracle doesn't believe the trial schedule should be revised nor is it willing to waive its right to a jury trial.

Google estimates it will have to pay about $2.8 million if it's determined that Android infringes on two Java patents that are being reviewed in the case. The company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., told Alsup that it's also prepared to pay 0.5 percent of Android's future revenue for one Java patent expiring at the end of this year and 0.015 percent of Android's future revenue for the other patent, which expires in April 2018.

The court papers don't explain how Android's revenue would be calculated. Google doesn't charge for Android, but makes some money from mobile advertising occurring on the software and third-party applications sold to run on the operating systems.

Washington

Judge awards

$44 million for '83 Beirut attack

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge has awarded $44.6 million from Iran to victims of the 1983 suicide truck-bombing attack on U.S. Marines in Beirut. The money will be difficult to collect.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth awarded the money Wednesday to two servicemen who were injured, Jeffery Paul O'Brien and Daniel Lane Gaffney, and their family members. The lawsuit claimed that Iran was involved in the attack, which killed 241 servicemen.

Lamberth said the court "applauds plaintiffs' persistent efforts to hold Iran accountable for its cowardly support of terrorism."

O'Brien and Gaffney were each awarded around $6.7 million.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Joseph Peter Drennan, said that he believes that the judgment will be enforced against blocked Iranian assets in the United States.

Arkansas

Court overturns student-teacher law banning sex

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- The Arkansas Supreme Court has struck down the state's law banning sexual contact between teachers and students, finding that people 18 or older have a constitutional right to engage in a consensual sexual relationship.

The court sided with David Paschal, an Elkins High School teacher who admitted having a consensual sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student.

Attorneys for the state argued the law protects high school students from sexual advances of teachers who are in positions of authority.

But the high court found the law was unconstitutional because it criminalized sexual conduct between consenting adults.

In a dissent, Justice Robert Brown said that the majority's opinion will cause disruption in high schools because there will be nothing to prevent teachers from having sex with students who are 18 or older.

Published: Fri, Mar 30, 2012