Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

Summary: Google has filed its response to Oracle's damages claim and as expected the filing rips apart the arguments of an expert witness. One of the more notable items in the filing is the issue of when Java was fragmented.

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Google has filed its response to Oracle's damages claim and as expected the filing rips apart the arguments of an expert witness. One of the more notable items in the filing is the issue of when Java was fragmented.

Oracle wants a hefty damages for what the company alleges is Android's patent and copyright infringement on Java. Florian Mueller estimates that Oracle is seeking at least $1 billion or so from Google. That figure---given the Nokia and Apple settlement on Tuesday---seems plausible.

In its response to Oracle expert witness Iain Cockburn, Google argued that Oracle is after ad revenue related to Android devices. Google, however, said that the lawsuit should revolve around the Android software, which happens to be free.

Google said that its advertising business isn't the "accused product" and should be left out of damages calculations, that lost profits shouldn't inflate royalties and damages from Java fragmentation are related to a "wholly different Oracle product" that is not in the complaint.

One key item in Google's response is Cockburn's premise that Android fragmented Java, a technology Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems. Google said:

Cockburn’s major premise, that Sun vigorously fought Java fragmentation, is false. As discussed below, Sun promoted fragmentation through its own licensing program...In particular, JavaME—the subset of Java at issue here—was fragmented for several years before Android had even been conceived

Cockburn also wrongly assumes that an “incompatible Android implementation . . . fragments and undermines not only Oracle’s Java licensing business but also the value of Java as a whole.” Treating “Java” as one overarching technology for purposes of fragmentation is contrary to reality and would make no sense. JavaME is just one of several branches of the overall Java platform. Most of Java encompasses implementations for desktop, servers, or enterprise systems. Even if Android fragmented JavaME, it would have no effect on desktop- or server-based implementations of Java.

If you take Google's argument farther the gist of it is that Oracle wants to monetize Java now, but Sun's fragmentation policy led to weak licensing in the first place. The question for Oracle is the same one that haunted Sun for years: Can Java be monetized?

Fortunately, this Oracle vs. Google lawsuit may go a pretty long way to determining whether Java can be monetized. If Oracle rakes in $1 billion or so from Google and then gets a cut of future Android devices, the monetization question will be clear.

Oracle Google Latest

Related: Oracle wants big cut of Android damages as Google's IP headache gets worse

Topics: Android, Google, Open Source, Oracle, Software Development

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17 comments
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  • Florian Mueller?

    Why do you guy's use him as a source? Is he really anybody?
    30otnix
    • He is not a body; at times giver very odd opinions on patent matters ..

      @30otnix: ... without proper back-up.
      DDERSSS
  • My guess is...

    ...Oracle wins this one. Patents are a powerful thing. The penalty is going to be high because even though the monetary loss to Java is low, I think the courts will be punitive, regarding the patent infringement as flagrant.

    Not sure I think this is the right outcome, though.
    x I'm tc
    • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

      @jdakula They may win it, but I think they will end up with a few patents invalidated and a fraction of the 1 billion they demand. An by the time the case is over Google would have move away from Java and on to Html5 and Javascript and Oracle will not get the money they demand.
      Knowles2
  • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

    I would rather abandon Android, than give Oracle a penny.
    timspublic1@...
  • Google is right!

    Oracle should have sued M$ for bastardizing Java in the first place.
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

      @Linux Geek
      They did. And won. Well, Sun did...
      x I'm tc
  • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

    I see several issues with with the "expert" estimates:

    1. The revenue from ads in Android is just 0.28 more than those from iOS, assuming than all of those 0.28 are because of the Java Advantage, and just 100 million of Devices with Android has been activated, that lets only 28 million to split between them.

    2. The fragmentation payment to Sun from MS was just 20 million, that should be the amount to negotiate between the parties.

    3. Java ME never was a significant revenue source for SUN, so the damages in lost profit should be in the range of the value Java ME brought to SUN. And this is assuming that Android indeed infringes Java, which still has to be settled in court.

    I see that Android technically is not Java, neither it claims to be. It exposes a subset of Java SE, so this is more an API Copyright issue than the way Oracle is presenting.
    Fox-Info
    • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

      @Fox-Info
      Doesn't matter what it pretends to be. It matters if it violates Java patents held by Oracle. This is not a copyright dispute.
      x I'm tc
      • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

        @jdakula <br>I believe most of the patents will be deemed invalid or that did no infringe "willfully" the patents. <br><br>About the damages claims, those should be based in realistic estimates not like done by the "expert", that was my point.
        Fox-Info
      • What makes you think they are invalid?

        @Fox-Info JavaME patents were granted even before WinCE was developed. <br><br>Google will have a hard time trying to invalidate something that was granted YEARS before they moved out of the garage of their house.
        wackoae
  • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

    Patent is one of the core pillers of capitalism. Google's hypocratic attitude towards patent is not going to work here. The court will protect patent by all means and if Oracle can prove it, android can bite the dust.
    owlnet
    • I don't think Oracle wants to kill Android

      @owlnet They want $$$ for every Android installed, even the versions available for free.
      wackoae
  • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

    First Apple... Now Google.

    BTW - OEMs and Google are starting to figure out just how much Android is costing. Nothing is free.
    jessiethe3rd
    • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

      @jessiethe3rd An Google is going obtain a patent army of it own from Nortel which will bring it all back to the status quo anyway. As all the company will have to renew there licenses with Google and I doubt Google will allow them the licenses without putting in protection for Android.
      Knowles2
      • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

        @Knowles2 LOL! How did that work out? Microsoft and Apple got the patents. Not Google.
        JoeHTH
  • RE: Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android

    If Sun didn't open their source(Java, Solaris OS...), Sun would not become one of the Oracle.

    Google never pay back to Sun for using Java
    asleton