Eye on Oracle

Jun 15 2011   5:04PM GMT

Oracle vs. Google: Oracle looking for billions with a B

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Well-known software patent blogger Florian Mueller wrote today in his FOSS Patents blog that Oracle is likely looking for a settlement in its case against Google that would “amount to a billion-dollar figure.”

Mueller examines a filing by Google yesterday in the case where Google attempts to defend against three major claims for recovery by Oracle: advertising from Android devices, lost profit, and damages to purported “fragmentation” of the Java platform.

Oracle filed its case against Google last August, with Google first replying in October. We called the battle a lawsuit between bullies. That was in agreement with Father of Java James Gosling who, before being hired by Google, wrote on his blog that there “are no guiltless parties with white hats in this little drama. This skirmish isn’t much about patents or principles or programming languages. The suit is far more about ego, money and power.”

Mueller writes that it seems that Oracle is seeking half of all of Google’s advertising revenue on the Android. On lost profits, Mueller cites a filing yesterday that points to an Oracle claim of “over $200 million” in lost profits. Finally, Mueller found several documents that referred to an Oracle claim that it should recover damages for the so-called “fragmentation” of Java, though he wasn’t able to pin down a specific monetary figure.

Mueller adds that if Oracle is able to show that Google participated in “willful infringement” of the Java patents, the damages could triple. And that’s how Mueller arrives to the billion-dollar claim. He wrote that there could possibly be a judgment or settlement within months.

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