Everything we’ve heard about Judge William Alsup tells us he’s a guy you don’t mess with — and yet Oracle seems bent on doing precisely that. When the company initially demanded $ 6.1 billion from Google in recompense for alleged violations of its Java patents, Alsup laughed that figure out of court and suggested $ 100 million might be closer to the mark. Ellison’s crew then came back with a revised claim of $ 2 billion, which we just knew would lead to another smackdown. Well, here it is: the judge has now cancelled the latest trial date (which had been scheduled for March) and refused to set a new one until the claimant stops using “improper methodologies” for assessing damages, which are “obviously calculated to reach stratospheric numbers.” Perhaps Oracle should try something more tropospheric?
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