Another Java User Can’t Dodge Trademark Lawsuit


     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Oracle can move forward with a copyright and trademark-infringement case against Myriad Group, a federal judge ruled, in a similar case to the high-profile litigation between Oracle and Google over Java.
     U.S. District Judge Sandra Armstrong rejected Switzerland-based Myriad Group’s motion to dismiss charges that it infringed on Oracle’s trademarks and copyrights to Java and breached its contract with Oracle by continuing to use the technology and related marks after its master services agreement expired.
     In a similar lawsuit last year, Oracle claimed Google’s Android phones infringe on Oracle’s trademarks and copyrights for Java. The parties in that case are preparing for a trial scheduled to begin in October.
     In this case, Myriad claimed Oracle induced it to enter the jurisdiction so Oracle could serve it with the underlying lawsuit. Armstrong found, however, that the fraudulent-inducement doctrine does not apply since it is intended to protect “defendants who enter a jurisdiction, where they have no prior contacts, before litigation begins so that service on them is a complete surprise.”
     Myriad has contacts in California and Washington D.C., and several of its officers were already in the United States conducting business when Oracle sued Myriad in the middle of pretrial settlement discussions and served Chief Products Officer Malcolm Dawe.
     While Myriad had proposed that the meeting take place in Paris, the parties ultimately agreed to meet in Washington, Armstrong wrote in denying the motion to dismiss and related motion to quash a summons.
     “The mere fact that Myriad’s preference was that the second meeting take place in Paris does not suggest, let alone establish, that Oracle lured Myriad to the United States for the purpose of effecting service of process – particularly where, as here, the evidence is that Myriad was in the United States for reasons unrelated to the instant dispute,” the decision states.
     Armstrong also denied Myriad’s motion to compel arbitration of Oracle’s noncontract claims, finding that a clause in the parties’ arbitration agreement shields Oracle from arbitrating claims that relate to compliance with a license for a technology compatibility kit. Oracle conceded that its claims for breach of contract are subject to arbitration.
     Armstrong recommended the parties resume settlement negotiations and stayed the case pending the conclusion of a settlement conference.

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