When Lawyers Send Letters

Google Swears It’s Hired Zero Shills, While Oracle Continues Hollering Foul Play [UPDATED]


Earlier this month, Judge William Alsup issued a demand for both parties in the Google v. Oracle patent dispute: Provide a list of any bloggers, journalists, or other commentators on the payroll. Paid Content reports that the two companies have now filed their responses. Google insists it has not paid anyone for positive coverage, while Oracle admitted to hiring patents blogger Florian Mueller as a “consultant on competition-related matters.”

The case itself is mostly done, with Google emerging largely victorious. At this point, the two parties are arguing over whether Oracle has to pay Google’s court costs.

Google issued this double-pinky swear: Read More

Patently Absurd

Anyone Shilling for Google and/or Oracle Might Want to ‘Fess Up Now


These patent cases are really starting to get the goats of America’s fine judicial personalities. Back in June, Judge Richard Posner dismissed the Apple v. Motorola battle royale, saying neither could “establish a right to relief.”

Now PaidContent reports that William Alsup, who’s stuck presiding over the final stages of Oracle’s case against Google, is laying down the law on the subject of disclosures. Specifically, he wants the two companies to provide complete lists of any bloggers and/or journalists they might have on the payroll. Shady!

The order says: Read More


An Acquisition for Buddy Media Makes Sense—After FB’s Dive, It Can’t IPO

Michael Lazerow, CEO of Buddy Media (flickr.com/leweb3)

AllThingsD is reporting that social marketing company Buddy Media is in talks to be acquired by Salesforce for $800 million. We had been hearing similar rumors ourselves, and reached out to Buddy Media last week, but the company refused to confirm, saying only, “We’ve been hearing this kind of chatter since the day we started the company, and it has always turned out to be false.”

An acquisition for Buddy makes sense–Facebook’s bungled IPO (its stock dropped another 10 percent today) left little room for companies with offerings reliant upon Facebook to go public themselves. And judging from Buddy’s hiring of an “IPO-ready CFO” last August, an IPO was its preferred route. Read More


Booting Up: Google Here, Google There, Google Everywhere

Privacy. (via Wired.com)

Kickstarter would prefer that you don’t notice failed projects, and those are definitely not the droids you’re looking for. [Misener.org]

Google takes down 250,000 search links every week due to alleged copyright violations. In the spirit of transparency, the company is now keeping a running list of who’s requesting what. [Google Official Blog]

Speaking of, looks like Microsoft has a bit of a piracy problem. [BBC News]

Google had a decent week. For one thing, the company closed that Motorola deal and so now owns a hardware company. [BusinessWeek]

The company also won that Oracle suit, which means no, Android isn’t going anywhere and the company doesn’t have to shell out for royalties. [CNET]

Finally, we thought you should know that someone has created “Skipper Nick Bilton,” a nautically themed fake Twitter account for New York Times tech writer Nick Bilton. [Twitter]

XX in Tech

Survey Says: Number of Women in Top U.S. Tech Jobs Has Declined Since 2010

According to this survey, Sheryl Sandberg is one lucky lady. (flickr.com/financialtimes)

New York may have double the female founders, but that statistic refers primarily to fledgling startups. What about the ladies leading large technology companies?

According to a new report by technology recruiting company the Harvey Nash Group, the number of women in top-tier IT positions has decreased since 2010. “Nine percent of U.S. chief information officers (CIOs) are female, down from 11 percent last year and 12 percent in 2010,” reports Reuters. Read More

Patently Absurd

A Kinda-Sorta Verdict in Oracle v. Google

Google CEO Larry Page (Google+)

After a partial ruling on the question of copyright infringement, the Oracle v. Google saga continues. But as of yet, there’s no answer to the question everyone’s asking: Are APIs copyrightable? And if they are, what does that mean for the tech industry?

Background: Oracle claims that, when Google built the Android platform, the company infringed on Java-related copyrights and patents (acquired by Oracle when it bought Sun). This first phase of the case deals specifically with the copyright allegations and, as Wired points out, Judge William Alsup has instructed the jury to assume for the purposes of the trial that APIs can be copyrighted. Mr. Alsup will ultimately have to make that call himself. Read More