Larry Page and Larry Ellison, the CEOs of web giant Google and enterprise systems vendor Oracle, have been ordered to participate in mediation talks in order to resolve their intellectual property dispute over Google’s mobile operating system Android.
The case hinges on Google’s alleged infringement of Java-related patents, as well as its use of certain segments of java code in the Android OS. Oracle says that the code was the property of Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired in January 2010. Last week, a senior architect for Google admitted that he may have copied a snippet code from Sun’s proprietary codebase, but the company argues that the snippet was too small to constitute patent infringement.
The judge presiding over the Google vs Oracle case, William Alsup, referred the case to a magistrate judge, Paul Grewel, for mediation on Thursday last week. Alsup strongly recommended that Grewel order Ellison and Page to attend mediation sessions. On Fridays, Grewel ordered both CEOs to attend the first interparty mediation, to begin on September 19.
Alsup was pushed to call for the attendance of both CEOs after the two companies failed to see eye-to-eye on the level of seniority that had been required at the negotiation previously.
Oracle had said it would send Safra Catz, company president and CFO, whereas Google only offered Andrew Rubin, company vice-president and head of mobile. Oracle complained, arguing that Rubin is an inappropriate mediator due to his intimate connection with the Android OS and that he does not match Catz in seniority.