With the date for a full jury trial fast approaching, Oracle and Google have been ordered to have one last go at settling their differences out-of-court.
The latest order has been issued not by Judge William Alsup, who will be the trial Judge if and when it happens, but by Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal, who presided over the parties' court-ordered mediation last autumn.
He is requiring that the participants in this last ditch settlement conference, which he will chair, involve Oracle's Co-President Safra Catz (whose name is misspelled as "Katz" on the order) and Andy Rubin, Google's Senior Vice President of Mobile, i.e. its Android chief, and that it should take place no later than April 9th.
With a firm trial date approaching fast and the case having been narrowed substantially (with relatively little left on the patent side, it's now almost exclusively a copyright case), there's a better chance than ever before that the parties may settle
Muller is of the opinion, however, that if they are inclined to settle at this stage they would do so even without the court order.
With the emphasis now on copyright, he sees the pressure now being on Google - which needs to avoid the injunction that Oracle seeks "to bring Android back into the Java fold" by making Android more compatible with Java, something that could severely disrupt the environment for Android development both currently and into the future. I guess it all depends on how compatible the Android implementation of Java has to be but it's not a comforting thought.