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Google Says 10 People, Groups It Paid Commented on Suit

(Corrects identification to “spokesman” in third paragraph.)

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc. said at least 10 individuals and groups receiving company money, including Google attorney William Patry and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote commentaries about Oracle Corp.’s copyright lawsuit over Android software.

Google said in a filing in federal court today that it didn’t pay anyone to write or comment about the case. The filing was in response to an order from the judge who presided over the Oracle trial and who said public commentary that purports to be independent can influence courts “in subtle ways” and writers’ financial ties to the companies should be disclosed.

“Our reply to the court is clear; no one on our side paid journalists, bloggers, or other commentators to write about this case,” Jim Prosser, a Google spokesman, said in an e-mail.

Deborah Hellinger, an Oracle spokeswoman, declined to comment on the filing.

A jury found May 7 that Mountain View, California-based Google, owner of the world’s most popular search engine, infringed Oracle’s copyrights when it developed Android software for mobile devices. The jury deadlocked on whether the copying was “fair use.”

The deadlock denied Redwood city, California-based Oracle the ability to seek as much as $1 billion in damages from Google. The jury found May 23 that Google didn’t infringe two Oracle patents.

Oracle hired one writer, Florian Mueller, author of the FOSS Patents blog, as a consultant, not to blog about the case, Oracle said in an Aug. 17 filing. Mueller, who disclosed the relationship in April, has written extensively on the lawsuit.

The case is Oracle v. Google, 10-3561, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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