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February 17, 2012

Is an Email Worth a Billion? Ask Google

Irony doesn't always get this ironic. Search giant Google inadvertently produced a potentially devastating email during electonic discovery in a billion dollar infringement suit waged by Oracle over Google’s Android platform.

How do things like this happen? According to Henry Kelston, the online search leader's e-discovery search methodology failed to flag as privileged eight additional drafts of the email automatically saved to Google engineer Tim Lindholm’s computer –- even though the content on the drafts was nearly identical to the privileged email.

Among the revealing statements in the email, Lindholm wrote of an attempt to find alternatives to Oracle-owned Java language for Google's Android and Chrome: “We’ve been over a bunch of these, and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need.”

The Federal Circuit recently denied Google’s sixth attempt to claim attorney-client privilege for the offending email. Find out why in Kelston's article for LTN, "Google's EDD Search Blunder in Oracle Case: the $1 Billion Mistake?"

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