Judge gives hope for end to Oracle-Google Java spat -

The Java copyright and patent saga between Oracle and Google has been given a glimmer of hope of reaching a conclusion with a trial date penciled in for 19 March.

Oracle is looking for billions of dollars worth of compensation for Google allegedly nicking ideas for Android, and it seems a decision could be made in the not too distant future.

It had originally been expected that a trial would start 31 October, 2011, but Larry Ellison has been left kicking his heels with a postponement.  This suited Google, which, according to patent expert Florian Mueller, would like to hold off any case until at least the summer.

However, it seems that Oracle will get a boost for getting an earlier decision with a likelihood that the case will go ahead in March, though this has not been confirmed definitively.

Against Google’s wishes, the case will be divided up into three parts, examining any wrongdoing with regards to copy infringement liability, patent infringement and anything else left over the two are fighting about.

It's possible that after the trials are complete, if an infringement is found, a judge could put a permanent injunction in place. Google has an opportunity to make an objection to the pretrial order by the judge, but Mueller believes that this is unlikely to happen.

Judges had attempted to get the respective CEOs of the two firms to meet, kiss and make up, though this has clearly had little effect and Oracle is still baying for blood, or at the very least an Android licensing fee.

Google is usually happy to whinge about its hatred of patents, particularly when it is getting hauled in front of judges.  However it was also announced that Google has bought up 200 more patents from IBM, presumably with a view to strengthening its leaky patent defence in future. Its Motorola Mobility buy was also thought to help to this end.