Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

Summary: Google and Oracle continue to bicker over whether their courtroom battle over whether Android infringes on Java patents, but there's at least a hint that the search giant may want to settle out of court.

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TOPICS: Google, Oracle
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Google and Oracle continue to bicker over whether their courtroom battle over whether Android infringes on Java patents, but there's at least a hint that the search giant may want to settle out of court.

The two parties filed a joint response focusing on whether their trial should be stayed as Oracle's patent standing is resolved. Not surprisingly, Google wants a stay. Oracle wants to go to trial without a stay so it can pelt Google with every patent it has. Florian Mueller has the recap of the stay issue and the Oracle and Google back and forth.

However, the one line that caught Mueller's eye is the passage below. The document is embedded via Scribd below.

Indeed, should this case be narrowed to only a few claims modified in the course of the reexamination, any damages claim would be materially limited by, among other things, the doctrine of intervening rights. Such a narrowed case will also eliminate the need for those efforts specifically directed at the claims rejected through reexamination, including motion practice, expert reports, and other trial preparation, as well as make it more likely that the parties could reach an informal resolution of the matter. In short, both parties and the Court would benefit from a stay pending reexamination.

Informal resolution? Google appears to be willing to pass a few billion to resolve this IP nightmare.

Mueller noted:

In principle, it's constructive if a party indicates a willingness to settle. But there's a fundamental difference between negotiating in private and letting the court (as well as the public) know -- more than three months before the scheduled trial (!) -- that one isn't so sure of one's defenses anymore. This stands in clear contradiction to Google's past positions and declarations, and it looks increasingly like an admission all by itself. Discovery is almost complete, and it probably didn't go too well for Google.

In other words, Oracle clearly has Google in the crosshairs. Oracle argued that the case needs to be resolved quickly because Android is gaining share and the infringement will only get worse. The possible outcomes go like this:

  • The judge decides on a stay and the two parties may settle.
  • The judge agrees with Oracle and this lawsuit goes to trial. A good scenario for Oracle.
  • Oracle sees that "informal resolution" remark and the two parties start talking.

Also see:

googorcl072011

Topics: Google, Oracle

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63 comments
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  • Brilliant analysis Florian

    I wish ZDnet would hire this guy already instead of quoting him all of the time. Then I could easily ignore his articles.
    otaddy
    • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

      @otaddy Muller hates Google and Android. No wonder they quote him all the time. All I see here is Google trying to get the court for stay so that the patent office has enough time to re-examine the weak Oracle patents.
      tatiGmail
      • My complaint is with using Florian as source

        @tatiGmail What are his credentials? Is he a patent lawyer that has won cases for his clients? If so, then we should pay attention to his commentary, otherwise, his value as a source is nil.

        ZDnet thinks that by quoting him, their articles are more legitimate. Actually, it has the opposite effect.
        otaddy
      • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

        @tatiGmail Hypothetically, and assuming that Google would have been working on Android before Oracle bought Sun, does the title to my contribution stand?<br>There's a cul<a href="http://www.tran33m.com/vb/">t</a>ure of buying technology companies in order to sue competitors who may (or may not) have infringed a patent owned by the purchased co<a href="http://vb.maas1.com/">m</a>panies. Frankly, I feel that if the original patent owner didn't sue, a subsequent owner shouldn't be able to either. It'd keep things so much easier!
        alasiri
      • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

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        alannajobly
      • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

        I fully agree<a href="http://www.uk-djs.net">,</a> if the original patent owner didn<a href="http://www.mp3freebee.com">'</a>t sue<a href="http://www.gigsource.co.uk">,</a> the new owner shouldn't be able to<a href="http://www.luvmp3.com">,</a> it would be much easier indeed. But that's probably too easy and makes too much sense to adopt ;-)
        mrswilliamson
      • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

        I<a href="http://lacarhire.net">'</a>d like to know more of his credentials and his win to loss ratio before validating his value <a href="http://www.howtodjs.com">.</a> There seems to be lots of quoting going on<a href="http://www.ehireacar.com">,</a> but lets keep the quotes valid<a href="http://www.musicarticles.net">.</a>
        molly83
    • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

      @otaddy Mueller's a proven shill... I'm sick of seeing him cited as an IP expert. He's not a lawyer, and barely a programmer.
      snoop0x7b
    • yes, it's true

      @otaddy .. (aka Mueller) is a closed-source, puppet / whipping boy. He poses as the fake/pretentious advocate of OSS. Truth is, he has the proverbial <i>Punch & Judy</i> stick shoved so far up his jacksie, it's given him a speech impediment.<br><br>As most have rightly and already said, it speaks volumes about how pathetic ZDNet have become. Each use (..re-use) of the tired and ridiculous party line / rhetoric / fabrications he serves up, only reinforces, more, the tabloid status of this site.
      thx-1138_
      • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

        @thx-1138_@... [i]Each use (..re-use) of the tired and ridiculous party line / rhetoric / fabrications he serves up,...[/i]
        I am in no way defending Mueller, know nothing about him, but I do find it funny that you call him out but not the fanboys and haters that use the same tactics.
        non-biased
  • Not Looking Good for the big G (Amazon?)

    I haven't read all of the pleadings and filings but from what I've read, this case is really coming down to Damages. How much will Google have to pay Oracle. As one of my law professors used to say (in his Yogi Berra way), anytime you are arguing over damages, you've already lost.

    It seems that Google's position on damages is that the money that they are making off of Android is indirect. Google seems to be arguing that it's ad system is independent of Android and the profits made from it's ads should be excluded from any sort of settlement.

    It's not a great argument and it's not a bad argument. It's a murky argument. Because it's murky, Oracle may want to settle in order to avoid losing outright.

    The main problem that I see with Google's position is that even if the ad system is independent of Android, Android is not independent of Oracle. It is possible that a jury could find that Oracle actually 'owns' Android (or that Android is so substantially composed of code owned by Oracle that it cannot exist without Oracle's blessing). If this were to occur, Oracle could then say that we would have never allowed Google to put its ad system on our phones without retaining some profit for ourselves. From there, damages would attach (what is the reasonable value of licensing that Oracle would have charged Google for placing it's ad system on Android phones).

    Um, if you are an exec for Amazon, please read what I just wrote.
    retnep
    • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

      @retnep
      There are no ads placed "directly onto an android." It's all from mobile browsing, and that's if you have Google set as your mobile search engine (which you don't have to).

      I think Google will get Oracle to settle.
      Droid101
      • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

        @Droid101

        This isn't 'mobile browsing' or a pc. These ads run within Android apps. If Oracle 'owns' Android, then Google doesn't have the 'right' to create and distribute an ad based system on someone else's software. If that were the case, then Google could theoretically release their own version of iOS with their own App store and their own version of WP7 with a Google App store.

        See where this is going? If you are Amazon, I would watch this case very, very closely. Same with Barnes & Noble.
        retnep
      • The browser is a &quot;part of Android&quot;.

        @Droid101

        So mobile browsing does, in fact, count as part of Android.
        Bruizer
      • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

        @Everyone except Droid101 Oracle is claiming patent infringement regarding the use of Java. In no way shape or form does Oracle "own Android" even if it wins every claim it has.
        jgm2
      • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

        @jgm
        If Oracle is found to own a substantial portion of the source code, so long as that source code is used and belongs to Oracle, Oracle will continue to 'own' at least a portion of Android.
        retnep
      • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

        @jgm "Oracle is claiming patent infringement regarding the use of Java. In no way shape or form does Oracle "own Android" even if it wins every claim it has."

        No, they would just own Androids ability to run apps...
        wzrobin
      • RE: Google ready to settle with Oracle over Android IP?

        @Droid101 Let's just say that that argument works, does that through the Android OEM's under the bus and it direct fire from Oracle?
        non-biased
    • The issue with Big G's view is...

      @retnep

      They have already said they see a plus side of $10-$15 per year per handset (or $20-$30 USD over a 2 year life span) of Android. On 100 million devices this equates to 1.0 to 1.5 billion/year.

      SInce they said this prior to the lawsuit, it is hard for them to then say they don't really make money on Android.
      Bruizer
    • Damages for what exactly????

      @retnep

      Oracle have no 'similar' product and have suffered no material loss in respect of anything to do with Android. They might be due cash relating to patents but that's a different argument.

      How can Oracle own Android? You're clearly an Android hater.... Heaven help those of us who like it and use it in conjunction with IOS as the situation suits best. The world has gone completely nuts!
      johnmckay