Oracle, Google fail to reach settlement in Android lawsuit

Oracle's Safra Catz and Google's Andy Rubin weren't able to come to an agreement in their dispute over Java technology in Android

Oracle and Google have failed to settle their intellectual property dispute and appear headed to court on April 16.

On Monday, the magistrate judge overseeing talks between the companies said that the parties won't meet again to try to settle their issues in the runup to the trial over whether Google infringed on Oracle patents and copyright in the Android OS.

"Despite their diligent efforts and those of their able counsel, the parties have reached an irreconcilable impasse in their settlement discussions... No further conferences shall be convened. The parties should instead direct their entire attention to the preparation of their trial presentations. Good luck," U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal wrote in an order.

Grewal had ordered Oracle President Safra Catz and the head of Google's Android division, Andy Rubin, to attend settlement talks. He had set April 9 as the final date for such talks but appears to have decided that a continuation of the discussion would be futile.

The trial is set to start on April 16 and could last for eight weeks.

Oracle sued Google in 2010, charging it with infringing patents and copyright in the Android operating system. The scope of the suit has narrowed considerably but could still have an impact on handset makers that use Android.

Grewal's statement is unusually thoughtful for a court order. While federal district courts may resolve cases through default judgments, summary judgments or by convening settlement conferences, sometimes a trial is necessary, he wrote. "Even though the overwhelming majority of cases are resolved by these and other means, we are not referred to in passing as judgment courts, or settlement courts. We are referred to as trial courts because, in the end, some cases just need to be tried," he wrote.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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Nancy Gohring

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