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Patent Heavyweight Judges Oracle-Google Infringement Case. By Ginny LaRoe

Publication Date: 
September 20, 2011
The Recorder
Ginny LaRoe

Professor Mark Lemley spoke with Ginny LaRoe of The Recorder on the practices of U.S. District Judge William Alsup and what it means for Oracle's patent suit against Google.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup has tossed a lot of curve balls at the 42 lawyers toiling away on Oracle's giant patent suit against Google. They'll probably see a few more as the case makes its way to a Halloween trial date.

Alsup is a demanding judge -- lawyers who try to pull a "dirty trick" may find him to be their worst nightmare. And he's quirky: He has a standing order that rewards litigants willing to send in novice lawyers to argue big-deal motions.


"The more terms you construe, the more likely it is the defendant wins the case," says Mark Lemley, a Stanford law professor and partner at Durie Tangri.


"A massive, high-stakes, high-profile press case may not be the kind of case you want to do that, whether or not the judge is encouraging it," Lemley says. "It's a hard business choice for the client."