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Oracle Blocks Arbitration Attempt in Java Lawsuit

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) - An attempt to force arbitration in a dispute over the rights to Oracle's Java software is "improper and wasteful," a federal judge ruled.

Myriad Group's license to use Oracle's Java technology expired in June 2010, but Oracle claims that Myriad continued to use Java and the related trademarks without authorization or paying royalties.

Myriad Group wanted Oracle to accept arbitration before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution on copyright and trademark claims, but Oracle objected.

In September, U.S. District Judge Saundra Armstrong said that the parties' agreement made only Oracle's contract claim subject to arbitration.

Though Oracle conceded to arbitrating the contract claim, it balked when Myriad reinitiated the arbitration proceeding with the New Jersey-based center, which is a division of the American Arbitration Association.

In a new ruling Tuesday, Armstrong had little patience for Myriad's attempt to sidestep the question she resolved over four months ago. She also rejected Myriad's claim that arbitration began in August when it first made the demand for such proceedings.

Though Myriad said the September ruling gave leave for both the court and the arbitrator to independently and simultaneously determine arbitrability, Armstrong called that "little more than a thinly veiled attempt to take a second bite at the apple."

"Having moved to compel arbitration and lost, Myriad's remedy is to appeal, not simultaneously seek a different ruling from the arbitrator," she wrote.

Myriad's attempts to proceed with arbitration "frustrate and contravene the policy against avoiding inconsistent judgments, forum shopping and engaging in duplicative and vexatious litigation," the 12-page decision states.

The preliminary injunction Armstrong granted Tuesday blocks Myriad from further attempting to arbitrate Oracle's trademark and copyright claims.

Oracle also moved to stay the September order compelling arbitration since Myriad is still appealing that decision to the 9th Circuit, but Armstrong called for further briefing on the matter.

Myriad isn't the only company facing allegations about unlicensed Java use. Google faces a trial in March to determine whether the operating system of its Android phone infringes on Oracle's trademarks and copyrights for Java.

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