Judge Slams Google for Inadequate Diligence


     (CN) – Google has shown a general lack of diligence in defending its Android phone against Oracle’s copyright claims, a federal judge ruled, denying most of Google’s recent request to supplement its invalidity contentions.
     Oracle has accused Google of violating dozens of its Java software patents in the popular phone. The parties are locked in a protracted discovery phase with the trial set to begin in October.
     In June, Oracle narrowed its claims down from hundreds to 50, and Google followed by paring its invalidity defenses to six grounds per patent claim. Google moved to add to those defenses, but U.S. District Judge William Alsup said in a brief order Monday that, for the most part, it’s too late.
     “With one exception, Google has not shown good cause for amending its invalidity contentions at this late date,” Alsup wrote. “Google asserts that the invalidity defenses it seeks to add ‘are among its strongest in the case.’ Google, however, did not submit its proposed amendments or explain why its new invalidity theories are supposedly so strong. The parties did not brief the strength of Google’s new invalidity theories. It is therefore impossible to determine whether Google’s proposed supplements are meritorious or futile.”
     After waiting too long to bring up the new defenses, Google failed to present them properly, the judge found.
     “Google generally did not exercise diligence in seeking to amend its invalidity contentions and has not shown good cause for allowing most of its proposed amendments at this eleventh hour,” he wrote.
     “The time for fact discovery has passed,” Alsup added.
     He did grant one of Google’s requests, however, allowing the company to add three new charts.
     “Oracle acknowledges that all four of the prior art references contained in these new charts were asserted and charted as anticipatory in Google’s January 2011 contentions,” Alsup wrote.

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