Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

Summary: Oracle has had trouble pinpointing an estimate of damages it claims to have incurred on Google's part.

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TOPICS: Google, Oracle
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As settlement talks between Oracle and Google and their respective CEOs, Larry Ellison and Larry Page, proceeded to go nowhere, another key factor in Oracle's case might finally be in place.

In July, both Oracle and Google were soundly scolded for different reasons before U.S. District Judge William Alsup. At the time, Oracle was asking for at least $6.1 billion in damages due to patent infringement claims related to the misuse of Java (which Oracle now owns after acquiring Sun Microsystems) on Android.

Additionally, Oracle wasn't able to present which patents were actually violated, leaving their lawyers red-faced when the judge sternly turned them down and instructed them to do their homework.

Oracle has completed at least one assignment as it is asking now for $1.16 billion in damages. Reuters has the breakdown:

In a letter to Alsup, Oracle lawyer Steven Holtzman said the revised damages statement includes as much as $202 million for patent infringement, and as much as $960 million for copyright infringement.

That figure could be considered more reasonable, depending on how Oracle presents its case, which is expected to go to trial on Halloween. The prospect of a trial is looking ever more likely these days as settlement discussions over the last week and even last few months have proven to be futile.

Topics: Google, Oracle

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  • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

    $960 million for copyright infringement? Are they alleging Google lifted actual code?
    dsf3g
    • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

      @dsf3g
      Yeah, they are.
      Darkninja962
    • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

      @dsf3g
      Code which was never part of Android phones. Things like functional definitions, which by the way are not generally not subject to copyright because they are on the functional, not expressive end of the spectrum.
      JohnVoter
      • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

        @JohnVoter Err, you still can't take code which is copyrighted and just use it.
        THUFIR.HAWAT
  • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

    dsf3g:

    yes, Oracle is claiming Google used straight code, but I do not think that is the problem as much as it is the fact that Android uses a custom compiler that is incompatible with standard java, hence the copyright infringement.
    If I have it right, Java is part of the free source group but as long as it is not altered. Microsoft was guilty of doing the same thing in windows and a judge forced them to use Sun's standard java compiler unaltered.
    brad1000
    • Re: Sun and "free"

      @otaddy It has worked out quite well for others, like Red Hat, IBM, Google, HTC, Samsung, LG etc. It's not a magic recipe for success on its own, you still need to have some actual business savvy.
      ldo17
      • Well Sun was rather loose in the way it used the word "free"

        @ldo17 Jonathan pony tail thought "free" was the magic buzzword to profit and prosperity...and we all see how that plan worked out.
        otaddy
    • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

      @brad1000
      There is more than one issue of controversy here, but with regard to the Dalvik interpreter, it is not a case of Google modifying Java, but writing a new program which is Java byte code compatible. Which no more violates Oracle's rights than when Sun wrote Open Office to be compatible with Word documents.
      JohnVoter
      • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

        @JohnVoter You are absolutely wrong. Google absolutely violated patents and ripped off code, while changing just enough to think they could avoid having to license a patent. In fact, in Google's own emails they admit to patent infringement at the very least. It's time for Google to either license like most companies, or come up with their own code that doesn't steal from others. That's all they've done.

        If you suggest that has been proven, why send Oracle and Google to the negotiating table, where Google would have to pay money. Google wouldn't have even bothered had they done nothing wrong.
        jhammackHTH
      • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

        @JohnVoter Were Dalvik under the GPL, there would be no issue at all.
        THUFIR.HAWAT
      • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

        @JohnVoter The accusation is that Google stripped the GPL from some .java files, modified them, and distributed them.
        THUFIR.HAWAT
  • I think it is reasonable

    I think paying 1.16 billion rather than the hassles and public PR mess it will create is not that bad.
    brad1000
    • I think they will end up paying

      @brad1000 Oracle doesnt want Android to die, it just wants in on the money.

      So in the end, both Microsoft and Oracle will make money from Android.
      otaddy
      • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

        @otaddy Along with everyone else trying to jump on the Android free money train.
        waterhzrd
      • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

        @otaddy This case has nothing to do with Microsoft. Microsoft's licensing deals have nothing to do with Java.
        jhammackHTH
  • me no understand

    Lets avoid the entire issue with Java's compiler/interpreter not being the hottest thing and that Oracle probably has it inject random bits into the machine code just to piss people off enough to want to fix it... and then of course Oracle can finally sue them for trying to fix something they probably broke on purpose. Avoided? PSYCH!
    Why does Oracle not want to promote their "free" product?
    phixit
    • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

      @phixit It's free in the sense that you can modify, add, improve, distribute Java under the GPL. However, Dalvik is *not* GPL. That's rather the point.
      THUFIR.HAWAT
  • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

    If all 37 API specifications files and the 12 code files would be found copyright protected, that would be 960/49, a little less than 20 million for every file.<br>Of course, Google will dispute that the API <br>files are protected by copyright, as it is the interface to Java used by many.<br>I suppose the 12 code files will be fixed.<br>If I could get 20 million for a code file, I would be rich.<br>I suppose, Google will also dispute that a such low percentage of the code could have that impact on their income, as is suggested also in Oracle's filing.
    somereader
    • The question for Oracle

      @somereader
      Why was it OK for Sun (now part of Oracle) to write a program that opens MS Word files?
      JohnVoter
      • RE: Oracle wants $1.16 billion in damages from Google

        @JohnVoter It's not about compatibility. It's about taking copyrighted code, Java code, and removing the copyright boiler plate and then calling it your own. That's a copyright violation.

        All Google had to do was to release Dalvik under the GPL and, voila!, no problem.
        THUFIR.HAWAT