Google files contempt case against Oracle for divulging details of Apple deal

06 Jul 2016


Google has called for filing of civil contempt and sanctions against Oracle and Oracle's lawyer Annette Hurst, for revealing the amount it paid Apple for its position as a search provider on iPhones.

Google has also called for the sanctions to include an award of Google's attorneys' fees.

The revelation came during the court battle between Google and Oracle over the latter's copyright claims to Java APIs, which Google won (See: Google wins court battle against Oracle over Java ).

Hurst revealed in court in January that Google had paid over $1 billion in 2014, which was documented by Bloomberg.

According to Google, which won the case in May, the revelation violated court rules and Oracle needed to pay for it.

Fortune magazine disclosed the legal filing last week, in which Google asked the judge to sanction Hurst for the disclosure of the financial terms, which, according to Google were ''extremely confidential'' and shielded from the public under a legal ''protective order.''

According to commentators, it was not important whether the move prompted a legal slap - as Fortune pointed out, the odds were low and most sanctions would be immaterial to Oracle. However the filing showed the lengths Google could go to keep under wraps details of its search business, especially its lucrative arrangement with Apple.

According to Bloomberg, Hurst also said in court that Google and Apple had a revenue-sharing agreement of 34 per cent, although it was not known which party was doing the bulk of the sharing.

The confidential information was handed over under a protective order, which, Google wrote, was used "to assure that sensitive, highly confidential information produced in discovery remains confidential and does not end up as headline news".

Meanwhile, the Google vs Oracle saga would continue, as Oracle is appealing the May ruling in the Java API case.

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