Google Blamed by Oracle Attorney for Spilled Android Secrets

ANDROID SECURITY
Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg
  • Lawyer says Google didn't object Jan. 14 to revenue disclosure
  • Oracle's counsel accused of leaking `highly confidential' data

Google Inc. has itself to blame that sensitive information about its profit from Android and its revenue-sharing agreement with Apple Inc. was aired in open court, according to an attorney for Oracle Corp.

Oracle’s lawyer fired back at the search engine giant after it criticized her for disclosing “highly confidential” information last week during a hearing in the database maker’s lawsuit in which it accuses Google of using Java software without permission.

The attorney, Annette Hurst, said the statements she made about Android generating $31 billion of revenue, and Google paying Apple $1 billion in 2014 to keep its search bar on the iPhone, were in response to questions from a magistrate judge and Google’s own lawyer. She also said none of the three attorneys representing Google at the hearing “even objected to the disclosure of the revenue and profit information.”

“Google was not surprised about the subject matter of this hearing and the scope of what possibly could be discussed,” Hurst, of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, said Thursday in a filing in San Francisco federal court.

Hurst’s defense of her disclosures came hours after Bloomberg News reported on them, citing a transcript from the Jan. 14 hearing posted in the court’s electronic docket. That transcript vanished from public view Thursday afternoon with no indication of any ruling barring access to the document. On Friday, the transcript was ordered temporarily sealed by the magistrate judge who presided over the Jan. 14 hearing while she considers Google’s renewed request to redact portions of it.

Redaction Request

Google requested a Feb. 25 hearing on the matter.

“Oracle’s improper disclosure has resulted in confidential information being leaked to the press, with confidential financial information relating to Android serving as the headline in Internet press reports,” Google said in a filing.

Hurst warned that this won’t be the last time Oracle cites Google’s financial information to make its case that the search engine company owes damages for exploiting Java to develop the world’s most popular smartphone platform.

She said Oracle expects to repeatedly cite the information Google is trying to seal as the companies joust over witnesses and evidence in their long-running battle leading up to a trial set for May 9.

“The magnitude of Google’s commercial exploitation of the Java APIs through Android is at the core of the dispute, both in connection with fair use and in connection with monetary remedies,” she said in Thursday’s filing.

The case is Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., 10-cv-03561, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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