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Judge orders Google, Oracle to disclose if either company paid off bloggers

Updated 4 years ago
Published Aug 7th, 2012 6:10PM EDT

Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday issued a brief order demanding Google (GOOG) and Oracle (ORCL) disclose whether either party paid journalists to cover the high-profile trial that took place earlier this year. “The Court is concerned that the parties and/or counsel herein may have retained or paid print or internet authors, journalists, commentators or bloggers who have and/or may publish comments on the issues in this case,” Judge Alsup wrote.

The judge continued, “Although proceedings in this matter are almost over, they are not fully over yet and, in any event, the disclosure required by this order would be of use on appeal or on any remand to make clear whether any treatise, article, commentary or analysis on the issues posed by this case are possibly influenced by financial relationships to the parties or counsel.”

Alsup required both companies to “identify all authors journalists, commentators or bloggers,” who reported or commented on the case and received money to do so.

Business Insider notes that payments were made to two individuals, one being Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, who previously disclosed that he accepts money from Microsoft (MSFT) as well. Oracle sued Google for its use of Java in the Android operating system, however in May the Internet giant was found to have not infringed upon Oracle’s intellectual property.