Wanted: More judges like U.S. District Judge William Alsup.
Alsup is presiding over the currently ongoing lawsuit between Google and Oracle over the former’s Android OS—which the latter says infringes on their Java patents—and is demonstrating a refreshing attitude towards both companies’ attempts to argue their case.
Alsup told attorneys representing the corporations, “You’re both asking for the moon and you should be more reasonable” during a hearing yesterday, according to Reuters.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Google argued that Oracle estimated damages of between $1.4 billion and $6.1 billion as a result of patent infringement within the Android OS and asked Alsup to disallow those estimates, saying instead that Oracle deserves no damages.
Alsup openly disagreed with that idea, telling the court, “Zero is ridiculous… They’re totally wrong on that.”
It doesn’t help that one piece of evidence is an internal Google memo that states that the company should license the Java technology from Oracle, because Google had tested all the available alternatives, and found that—in the words of the engineer that wrote the memo—they “all suck”.
Alsup also clashed with Oracle attorneys over their unwillingness to share financial details in court, telling them, “This is public proceeding. You lawyers and companies are not going to handcuff the court. This is not a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle Corp.”
A decision in the case is expected soon. In the meantime, all other judges are recommended to learn from Alsup’s curmudgeonly common sense.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.