Oracle admits paying bloggers to influence public opinion

By Stuart Sumner
20 Aug 2012 View Comments

Oracle has admitted that it paid two influential bloggers in an effort to steer public opinion over its recent trial with Google.

The revelation came following a court order from US Judge William Alsop that both firms declare any relationships with media commentators following the recent patent infringement trial.

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In the case, Oracle attempted to sue Google, claiming that the search-engine giant had illegally used its intellectual property in building the Android platform.

Although Oracle had been aiming for damages of $1bn (£640m), it eventually agreed to a settlement without payment once it became clear that any financial outcome of the case would be minimal. However, it is expected to appeal.

Now, Oracle has admitted that German blogger Florian Mueller and Stanford University's Professor Paul Goldstein are on its payroll, although it said that neither was paid to write about the case itself.

However, it also claimed that Google's efforts to influence public opinion are far more widespread than its own, in its response to the court order.

"Oracle notes that Google maintains a network of direct and indirect 'influencers' to advance Google's intellectual property agenda. This network is extensive, including attorneys, lobbyists, trade associations, academics and bloggers, and its focus extends beyond pure intellectual property issues to competition/antitrust issues."

For its part, Google claimed that it has paid no one to write about the case.

"Neither Google nor its counsel has paid an author, journalist, commentator or blogger to report or comment on any issues in this case. And neither Google nor its counsel has been involved in any quid pro quo in exchange for coverage of or articles about the issues in this case," it said in a statement.

However, it admitted that it does have relationships with many parties who may have written about the case, but asked for more guidance before it reveals who they may be.

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