Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

Summary: It's Oracle's Safra Catz vs. Google's Andy Rubin as the two parties go to mediation to head off a courtroom battle over Android.

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Google and Oracle appear to be headed to the mediation table as their lawsuit over whether Android infringes on Java gets closer to the courtroom.

In court filings, both Google and Oracle agreed to mediation in an attempt to settle a lawsuit over Android.

Google said:

Google recognizes the importance of having top executives of the parties attend the Court-ordered mediation. Google proposes that Andrew Rubin, who is Senior Vice President, Mobile and reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer, attend for Google together with Kent Walker, Vice President and General Counsel of Google. Mr. Rubin’s executive responsibilities include all of Google’s mobile business, of which the Android business is a part. Mr. Rubin is knowledgeable regarding the issues in this case and he is fully empowered to resolve this matter on reasonable terms.

Oracle said:

As suggested by the Court, Oracle considers it essential that both parties bring top-level executives. Accordingly, Oracle’s executive representatives in the mediation before the Magistrate Judge will be Safra Catz, President of Oracle Corporation, and Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President of Oracle Product Development. Oracle will strive to make its representatives available as necessary and proposes that the mediation occur before the end of September.

Judge William Alsup has pushed the two parties to resolve their patent and copyright case before it heads to jury.

The big question is whether Google is serious. Rubin may be a fine executive, but he's no match for Catz, who knows Oracle's operations and financials better than anyone. Will Rubin really be able to settle this suit without CEO Larry Page in the room? Doubtful.

Florian Mueller also noted that the Rubin pick is shaky. He wrote that Rubin isn't even a top tier executive in Google's pecking order. Rubin may know Android, but he's not on the same level as Catz.

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Topics: Google, Enterprise Software, Legal, Oracle

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18 comments
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  • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

    Mediation and, hopefully, a settlement make sense. Oracle now knows that there is not a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as damages have been reduced essentially to Java licensing fees (as a starting point, then up or down). Google knows that they have been caught with their hand in the cookie jar. And Andy Rubin wrote one of smoking guns (the Java memos) that were recently revealed.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

      @Rabid Howler Monkey Um, you're wrong. Google has been illegally using Java in Android for years, without paying for the license. They intentionally and willfully violated the Java patents, and then gave it away for free. We've seen evidence of this in the infamous Google email, where they admit they are in danger of violating the patented technology. "In danger" my ass. They did violate it.<br><br>My point is they will have to pay Oracle for years worth of Java patents, and if they continue using it, they'll have to license it in the future. So Google is going to have to fork over a massive chunk of money. Unless Google was to win this case, which they won't.
      jhammackHTH
      • Yep. Time for Google to talk deal with Oracle

        Why else would they agree to mediation?

        And ZDNet, why don't you just hire Florian already?
        otaddy
    • $100 million/year plus willful infringement?

      @Rabid Howler Monkey

      Given that is what Sun/Google had originally discussed. The $100 million was a per year and not a one time fee.

      Sounds like a good pot of gold given the 3-4 years Android has been shipping.
      Bruizer
      • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

        @Bruizer The royalty license for Java that Sun offered to Google was $100 million U.S. over 3 years:

        http://www.cio.com/article/686573/Google_Sun_Offered_to_License_Java_for_100_Million

        My point is that the damages won't be anywhere near Oracle's wishful $6.1 billion U.S. estimate. That estimate was a big pot of gold. But, you're right, a few hundred million dollars U.S. is nothing to sneeze at.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
      • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

        @Bruizer <br>In ADDITION Google will have to negiotate a new license fee and Oracle will most likely set it much higher than the $100million/year. Google will most likely have to pay through the nose if they want to continue Android's devleopment or else basically give up the entire Android userbase and start from scratch. Not exactly an appealing prospect for Google. The stakes are very high for Google.
        global.philosopher
    • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

      @Rabid Howler Monkey
      If a judge recommends mediation it would be foolish of a company not to at least attempt it...it is quite common at all levels of the judicial system and quite often beneficial...probably won't apply inthis case though.
      As for the outcome, I suspect if Oracle are in the right then damages will have to be paid but this is not based on what Google makes but what Google would have had to pay Oralce/Sun to license because that is the financlial loss to Oracle. Remember that inthe real world you cannot breach copyright and then if caught only pay up your profits....the coopyright holder sets the licensing fee...not the copyright breacher.
      global.philosopher
  • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

    Geez, Larry. Can you not write a single article without citing the troll Mueller?

    This is bad for your credibility. Really bad for your credibility.

    While you're at it, why don't you call up Rob Enderle or Muareen O'gara - both former soundbite sources similar to FM, subsequently discredited.
    chipbeef
    • Agreed..

      @chipbeef Or at least hire someone with a legal background to provide intelligent commentary...
      otaddy
  • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

    I think no company should get away easily for stealing others IP by paying few millions in damages. Google is making huge money on android, so why not pay huge on damages.

    Everybody now knows that google is an utter A**h**e in IP sector...thriving on others expense...
    owlnet
  • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

    Google is the next Internet Bubble, lets just wait for 1 or 2 more years before it collapses.

    1) Android tablets sales are in the bottom, no matter how much companies make a new model, the Apple iPad has more than 85% of market share.

    2) Chromebooks are a piece of junk. You can't do anything else beside use the Chrome browser, which all new AMD Fusion Netbooks can handle. Windows netbooks and laptops have capability to do real productive work, not just browse the net.

    3) Google smartphones could have reached their peak in 2011, but Samsung and other smartphone manufacturers are looking for other OS vendors like Meego and WP7.

    Soon we all shall see the epic fall of Google.
    Gabriel Hernandez
    • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

      @Gabriel Hernandez
      I dislike Google as much as the next guy, but you are out. of. your. mind.

      They have a monopoly position in search advertising that will allow them to prop side projects up for years until they get them right. Look how far ahead of the curve Google Maps are now, after years of being me-too junk.

      Google's Apps are the same. Total junk today, but a lot better than they were a couple years ago. They don't have to make any money for a long, long time. Eventually, they will. In three or four years, I bet they'll even be pretty good.

      Android, again, was a total POS until 2.0 and arguably until Gingerbread. Now, it's unarguably pretty good and it's only going to get better. There's lots wrong with Android, sure, but what OS doesn't have lots of flaws? Is it making millions of users happy? Yup! I'm sure Google has lost billions on Android and will probably lose billions more with the resolution of its ongoing IP problems. No matter, it will be plenty profitable soon enough and over time these early expenditures (a billion here to Oracle, a few billion to Apple and MS) will seem like drops in the bucket.

      Google has what it takes to stay in the game.
      x I'm tc
      • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

        @jdakula Not only that, HTC and Google has shown the first signs of a patent alliance forming between the open hand set alliance members.

        An while Microsoft, Apple, Oracle may have a strong patent portfolio I really do not see how they can match up against 82 companies in the open hand set alliance working together in a full scale patent war, 82 companies have got to have more patents than those three companies combine.

        I see Android doing just fine in the end, and Google seem to have a good plan to make sure the outcome suits its goals. An i suspect Apple will suffer the most damage with its refusal to enter into patent licensing agreements, and acting out against alliance members.

        Of cause we do not know whether open handset alliance is in the process of forming a patent alliance to protect Android, but it a obvious solution to the mobile patent wars that I be shock if Google and other members are not working towards this.
        Knowles2
    • BS!

      @Gabriel Hernandez
      Mr Rubin and Google will swipe the floors with Oracle dumb execs. There is no infringement in Android!
      The Linux Geek
      • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

        @The Linux Geek
        And you know this because...
        x I'm tc
  • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

    I hope Google and Oracle can work something out and we all can benefit.


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    virthddman
  • RE: Google, Oracle head to settlement talks over Android lawsuit

    Excellently written
    GeorgeTillman
    • So, would you say it deserves an A or and A- or a simple A?

      Most content written in a blog should be rated on the merits of the content, and not on whether the writer benefited well from his English and composition lessons.

      It's okay to notice the grammar mistakes and the errors in spelling and the errors of "flow", but, the real purpose for blogs is to create content that's worth reading and commenting about.

      So, what about the content?

      Myself, I feel that it's mostly inconsequential for the moment, because, there aren't too many details from which anyone can draw any conclusions.

      Therefore, I rate it as C- for content and relevance.
      adornoe