Eye on Oracle

Mar 15 2012   8:14PM GMT

Note to Oracle: Nobody likes a nuisance

Lena Weiner Lena Weiner Profile: Lena Weiner

By now, you probably know that Oracle is in the middle of a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Google for patent infringement regarding Google’s use of patents Oracle feels are related to the Java programing language.

Earlier this month, San Francisco Judge William Alsup requested that Oracle withdraw three of the patents from the suit. He seems to be hoping for a quick and easy trial — something you unfortunately don’t see much of when Oracle is involved. In any case, it looks like Oracle’s big day in court is going to be April 16th. It doesn’t, however, look like this will be a smooth lawsuit like Oracle had been hoping, though, as they’ve been forced to drop charges on several patents, others are expiring soon, and it appears that they greatly overestimated the amount of money to be gained from this suit.

Indeed, the suit has slowly been whittled down from a major, $6 billion legal extravaganza it originally appeared to be to what is swiftly approaching a nuisance suit — the corporate, Silicon Valley version of your neighbor suing over your dog defecating on their lawn.

There are many theories as to the “real reason” why Oracle is suing Google, from wanting a share of profits from the wildly popular Android phones to speculations involving Larry Ellison’s personal devotion to The Art of War. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Oracle’s executives and lawyers honestly believed they had much more to gain from this lawsuit than they actually do. If I’m correct, it’s kind of a pity for Oracle – the miscalculation not only wastes their time but makes them look pretty nasty. I mean, really… Who wants to be the guy who sues the company whose motto is “Don’t be evil?”

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