Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oracle-Google trial "will likely be postponed" from Halloween, says judge

In late August, Judge William Alsup indicated for the first time that the Oracle v. Google trial, which had originally been scheduled to begin on Halloween, might have to be postponed due to an unrelated large criminal trial scheduled to begin on October 17. Nevertheless, the judge didn't reset any deadlines in order to keep up the pressure.

The judge just put in a new "notice re pretrial conference", which says that the Oracle-Google trial "will likely be postponed" and that the Halloween trial date "will not yet be vacated" though it "now seems unlikely" to work out. The final pretrial conference was originally scheduled for October 17 and is now pushed back by a week, and may be pushed back even further if the Halloween trial date is postponed.

This is the full text of the notice:

"This is a notice to give counsel an update on the schedule. As counsel know, the second wave of defendants in the large criminal case is scheduled for trial on October 17. At present, it appears that the trial will be necessary. This will mean that the trial in the instant case will likely be postponed. In hopes that the October 31 trial in the instant case can still go forward, even though that now seems unlikely, the October 31 trial date will not yet be vacated. The final pretrial conference, however, is CONTINUED from October 17 to 2:00 P.M. ON OCTOBER 24, 2011. If the criminal trial does go forward, then it is possible that the date for the final pretrial conference will be adjusted yet again. The schedule for pretrial filings remains unchanged."

This postponement is unrelated to the question of whether the case will be stayed in whole or in part while the patent office reexamines Oracle's asserted patents. With both parties having presented their view on a stay in separate filings yesterday, I guess we will soon also hear the judge's opinion on that possibility.

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