back to article Oracle seeks 'billions' with Google Android suit

Oracle is seeking "billions of dollars" in damages from Google with its sweeping copyright and patent infringement lawsuit over the use of Java on Android. According to an Oracle court filing released on Thursday, Google attempted to hide the scope of Oracle's damages claims and other related information from public view. But …

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As they should!

Unfortunately for Google, the more successful Andriod is, the more they will have to pay out. Oracle should have really bought Sun when they had the chance, now their best option is to settle this ASAP.

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Huh?

Oracle *did* buy Sun, otherwise they wouldn't own any of the patents.

Did you mean Google should have bought Sun? I can see no reason why they would have wanted any of Sun's hardware business - the only possible reason would have been for their Patent portfolio but Google didn't seem to have realised that the best form of defence is a large portfolio of your own - hence why they're after the Nortle ones.

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shurely

Google should have bought Sun or has my BOFH Friday afternoon been a little too much? In any way, screw Oracle

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Brin - Sergey

1) Buy Oracle (Will cost you a lot less than paying lawyers/fines).

2) Fire Larry.

3) Have a beer on me...

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Boffin

RE: Brin - Sergey

Well, seeing as the Oracle Market Cap is floating around the $160bn mark, and would no doubt rise on the rumour of a take over, I'd have to say it is unlikely that even Google could afford it. As I recall, Google has about $60bn in cash and assets, so they could buy up enough shares to get on the Oracle board but would need to sell shedloads of shares and/or assets, and then partner up with some serious venture money, to swallow Snoreacle.

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Trollface

@Matt Bryant... why the down post?

Seriously there are some seriously dumb shxx commentards who down voted this post. All he is doing is stating some pretty obvious facts.

Oh wait, my mistakes... why should one let facts get in the way of a good rant?

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@ Ian Michael Gumby

I might down-vote you out of sheer petulance, or I might down-vote you because I am feeling particularly dickish today, or I might down-vote you because you're being a pompous arse, but in none of those situations would I be ranting. Still, never let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to be a smug git, eh.

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as for me...

I downvoted you just because DF118 put in the mood to downvote you, so I guess you could just say you were a victim of cirmcumstance. Life can be a bitch like that!!

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Here is why

Google has fanatics who became robots (androids?) and will gang up whoever dares to talk bad about that company. Just like Apple.

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Well...

The Android and Apple boys fight it out especially as I believe Steve J ( the risen and holy one ) is a very good mate of Larry's, so none of this stupidity is any great surprise!

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Oracle have a reputation for histrionic behaviour

They love to spread a bit of FUD and they're past masters at the PR black arts. I'm doubtful that they can really get the kind of damages that they're claiming here, but they can certainly seriously impact Google - especially if they pull a Lodsys and find a way of targetting Android developers.

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Boffin

@Cloudgazer it's part of the game... But there is more to it...

First, I say that oracle's claims have merit. If you look at the claims, they have lost a ton of licensing revenue along with future potential revenue from existing licensees.

Sun wasn't dumb in how they wrote their contracts and were it not Oracle, sun would be suing instead. Why? Precisely because of the potential amount of damages.

In any lawsuit like this, the amount of damages is a SWAG. You guess err estimate high because you only have one shot at the number. This is going to be your max. You then end up negotiating from there. (Assuming Google is going to settle.). If not, then the number is to ball park what they think they deserve.

Now even though I call it a game, the numbers are real. Oracle is correct in their estimates.

Based on a first blush read of the article and not Google's filing, google is claiming that Oracle is using Google's profits from ad revenue on Android apps and not just the revenues from the OS itself. IMHO, Oracle is correct because the phone is a loss leader so Google can profit from their ad revenue.

While I think both companies are evil, Google thinks that they are too big to fail and should be declared a monopoly. ( but that's a different issue) with respect to the issue at hand... oracle has the stronger hand...

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The one thing...

that sticks out to me in this whole ordeal is that Oracle couldn't have made the ad revenue Google has if their lives depended on it. It isn't really "lost" revenue. Oracle never would have made that money. If they could have, they would have done so already. I agree they should be given their licensing fees, but the money that Google made using their own talents does not belong to Oracle, who has no discernible talents to speak of.

Sorry to be a broken record, but the advertising money was made using Google's techniques, talents, and software. Sure it was sitting on top of Android which incorporates Java code, and they should pay some licensing fees for that, but nothing else.

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lost a ton of licensing revenue

I agree with what you said, just thought I'd comment on this.

Why have they lost revenue? because android is a much better platform to develop for and provides much more than anything Oracle can offer with what they currently have. If a company making a £400 -£500 phone a few dollars to license jme is insignificant, they go with android simply because it adds a lot more value.

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@cybercod

It's not the issue of what oracle can make but to disgorge google of the profits they made as a result of their transgression.

You have to look at it from this perspective...

Google is gambling that even if it loses the lawsuit, they then pay a penalty... Lets say triple the license amounts. This amount may seem like a lot of money, but it's a fraction of what they are making off all of the handset's revenue streams.

The concept is to send the message that crime doesn't pay.

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agreed

Exactly the point I was going to make. Unless Oracle can show, with detailed, dated evidence, that they had plans to do what google did to make shed loads of cash, then all they should be able to legitimately claim is any licensing fees they are owed.

It is a little bit like if an ace motorcycle rider rents a bike, doesn't tell the rental place he plans to enter it into a race, then wins the race and £1m prize money. Does the rental place have any claim to the £1m? No, as they had no way of winning that race. If the policy states there is an extra £100 fee if the bike is used in a race, they would be entitled to that, but thats all.

Any holes in this analogy? It was the best I could come up with

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WTF?

@Vic 4

"Why have they lost revenue? because android is a much better platform to develop for and provides much more than anything Oracle can offer with what they currently have."

No, not at all.

Dalvik is a clone of Java. The lawsuit has nothing to do with the merits of the platform, but of a core component of the platform that was created as Oracle alleges to bypass paying Oracle the license to use Java ME.

Could Android exist if it had used Java ME? Absolutely.

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@Bob 46

Yeah, your analogy is flawed. Just to point out the obvious one...

Your bike racer rented the bike. (This means he had to sign a contract on the proper T's and C's.)

A better analogy was that he stole the bike. Won the million in the race, was then nabbed for the theft. Suppose that the bike he stole only cost 100,000 pounds. He could always buy the rental company a new bike in addition to the old one.

The biker faces jail time and also has to make or attempt to make restitution to the owners of the bike he stole. The courts could also disgorge him of his profits he made from his illegal action.

(Crime doesn't pay and its important for the justice system of *any* country to re-enforce that concept.) Note that there will always be an exception to that case....

You want a better analogy... Look at the insider trading case(s) which took down guys like Bob Moffat of IBM who would have been the next leader of IBM.

In these cases, the courts not only sentence them to jail time, but they are ordered to make restitution and surrender any profits from the trades plus interest to the courts.

Does that make sense?

Google didn't sign and ignore the T's and C's of a contract, they essentially stole IP so that they wouldn't have to sign a contract and pay fees to Sun/Oracle.

Oh and one more thing... in the bike racer example... The rental company where he stole the bike... they could also give him the option of giving up the million dollars to them and they'll then drop the charges against him. Its not just the jail time but the felony conviction which will screw up one's future.

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@ vic 4

Except for ad revenue on activated phones, Google itself is making no money, with one exception.. The Nexus phones are Googles, but I have a feeling they are making next to nothing on those as they are just phones made by a 3rd party such as Samsung or HTC.

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Anonymous Coward

Its a shame...

...that google didn't buy sun and open source the damn lot. Lets be honest, its not like they couldn't have afforded it. They would have turned java into something super special too.

Ellison is a nut job along with steve jobs. Both are getting a bit too big for their boots imho.

I used to love oracle products, way up there. But they seem to be poisoning everything o/s at the moment.

I hope it all goes in googles favor. as much as google are in it for themselves, they don't seem to feel obliged to try and take everybody else out at the same time. Android is first class, and oracle are just sick that J2ME is a pile of sh** and they didn't think of android.

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Joke

A bit to big for his boots?

The difference between God and Larry Ellison, is that God doesn't think he's Larry Ellison!

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Wasn't opened for a reason

Sun didn't open source Java at they knew it would have broken the whole point of Java. Write once and run anywhere.

But then you can argue with JNI they did that anyway.

Of course, Java is pretty much dead on the desktop. There are some applications running on it but Java's big market is in web applications or database stored procedures (on Oracle).

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@AC, re: It's a shame

>Ellison is a nut job along with steve jobs

Er, are you saying that Google aren't? Oh boy they've hoodwinked you well! The *only* reason Google structured Android the way it did was to create a closed software ecosystem. Java-ish, but not Java enough to be able to run the apps elsewhere. That App lock in just encourages people to use Google services for which Google get ad money.

Google have taken a gamble on bending someone else's intellectual property to suit their own money making scheme, and it may yet back fire quite spectacularly. They dress it up as open source "from the very bottom of their heart", but that just disguises their corporate profit driven strategy. Google's trick is that most people don't see where the money is coming from. Apple's trick is that despite the obviously high prices people don't seem to care. All companies that have shareholders are obliged to take steps to increase profits, and we shouldn't be surprised to find that some of them are quite good at doing so without a blatant flow of cash.

The closest I've seen to a large company properly donating to the open source world is IBM, and Sun too in the good ol' days. IBM have put $billions of effort in to Linux from which everyone has benefitted. They make money out of it through server and services sales, but otherwise the rest of us use their contributions without a penny heading IBM's way. Sun developed dTrace and zfs and gave them away under their own license. They haven't cropped up as such in the Linux world because GPL2 isn't compatible with the license Sun wrote. You'd have to be very cynical indeed to blame Sun for that! They have been picked up by FreeBSD though. I'm sure there are other good examples too.

Google have open sourced quite a lot, but they're a bit tardy about it with Android, and everything they've done is clearly aimed at capturing more of the search and on-line advertising market. They're not especially good at it though. You think Android is first class; all I see is version fragementation, unfixed bugs, a heavy steer to doing everything through Google's websites, and yet another app ecosystem that makes it difficult to port apps to another platform. Crap. Look at the hounding HTC got just recently when they said that they wouldn't put an already out-of-date Android on HTC Desires. A sign of happy Google customers? Hardly.

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Re: Wasn't opened for a reason

"Sun didn't open source Java at they knew it would have broken the whole point of Java. Write once and run anywhere."

Yes, very funny. If it does run anywhere it looks like shit. Not so funny if it's your job, though.

But about Sun not open sourcing Java: what nonsense! Java was actually released under GPLv2 - what do you think OpenJDK is?

The idea is that you can't call something Java unless it passes conformance tests, and so the brand is protected and no fragmentation occurs. That would all be rather reasonable if Sun (and now Oracle) hadn't been awkward about how that conformance testing may take place, playing political games with who and what can pass through the eye of the needle.

Now Oracle is in the driving seat, of course the politics are no better. Still, this is just another Oracle acquisition: Larry's arse will be wiped across the face of Sun's business and he'll be happy to have made a few bucks on the acquisition price by the time all the different Sun technologies are mere memories. And he'll still wonder why he's not the household name that Bill Gates unfortunately is.

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Anonymous Coward

Thank you..

"You think Android is first class; all I see is version fragmentation, unfixed bugs, a heavy steer to doing everything through Google's websites, and yet another app ecosystem that makes it difficult to port apps to another platform."

At last, someone else who gets it. Thank you. I get rather fed up with people claiming it to be *cough* open (and worse, thus "secure" or "safe" - those people ought to read the report of the Canadian Privacy Commissioner where Google formally state that they no longer need Streetview WiFi scanning as Android handset will now do that for them).

That's all. If you want to code for mobile use, you choose your walled garden. Just don't be under the illusion that there are no walls..

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Stop

Why should He stoop to such a level?

n/t

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What?

I wonder how many would be software developers chose a different career because it's literally impossible to create anything on the web without infringing on these broad stroked patents, or I should say create anything successful before repugnant corporate greed targets you.

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Well...

Well, they're obviously idiots then, because there are millions of people worldwide creating and developing amazing stuff, with no problems.

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Anonymous Coward

title

"Well, they're obviously idiots then, because there are millions of people worldwide creating and developing amazing stuff, with no problems."

Tell that to all the iPhone and Android developers being threatened by Lodsys.

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PT

Idiots?

"... there are millions of people worldwide creating and developing amazing stuff, with no problems."

They're not idiots - they just haven't made enough money yet to put blood in the water.

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Devil

I suppose...

Ellison has to try and fund buying* all those mansions in Pacific Heights so he can watch the America's Cup.

* yes, I know it's been denied, but many how denials have we heard in the past only for the rumoured events eventually coming to pass?

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Write once,

...run anywhere we allow you to.

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Paris Hilton

Write once...

...run for the lawyers

Oracle need to die, and Android needs to get better.

Paris, because she's nearly as dumb as Ellison

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Meh

Paris is dumb.....

I can't say I think Ellison is dumb.

Obnoxious, self centred yeah , probably thinks he's God,

and extremely dislikable.

But not dumb.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually, Paris isn't dumb either

Not exactly in the same world as the rest of us, but the whole Paris enterprise is controlled by her, she (and only she) takes all the end decisions. I'm not saying she is uni-lecturer material, but someone who doesn't mind taking an ego hit to grow an enterprise which clocks more money per day than most people make in a year is in my view not *exactly* dumb. But jealousy plays a part too, I guess.

Sometimes the mask slips - when her image was used in a previous election campaign the Paris team cooked up a video that could not be more precise in its warning not to involve her than anything else I've seen, and I have seen quite a bit of media and reputation management.

Not world wise, yes - in that world you cannot trust anyone which makes for a bizarre sort of golden cage. But dumb? You have just fallen for the image.

Anon, for obvious reasons.

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@nonesuch: Brin - Sergey

Larry - Sergey surely?

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Big Fat Troll!

I have a hard time believing that anyone but lawyers and Android competitors will benefit by this current action but even with that aside consider what Oracle is doing here. First fact is JAVA is 99% a community effort, its success is due not to Sun's investment but by it being advertised as a write once, use anywhere open standard. Google has continued that effort and added to it by now allowing JAVA reuse on the Android platform. The only damage here was that Google didn't erect a toll gate to APP development like every prior wireless OS released to date. So now comes Oracle like a patent TROLL seeing to bend the truth and claim damages on technology that is and was 'open'. Their VM patents are all worthless due to prior art and years of non-enforcement, their case is largely advertising designed to damage Android's perceived value in the market and their damage claims are entirely void of fact. I think its time to ban Oracle products from our companies and drive this TROLL back under its bridge!

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Boffin

No troll on the part of Oracle...

But if you look in the mirror... :-)

Seriously? Oracle s for once the injured party. They were open in that they bought Sun for Java. No secret there. They are actively involved in Java development, and they use Java in a large bulk of the products they ship.

This is not the actions of a patent troll.

Google however is trying to steal from Oracle and is abusing the entire Open Source model.

It's amazing how you and others try to justify and defend Google when they are t he ones abusing the system.

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Anonymous Coward

Indeed ..

"It's amazing how you and others try to justify and defend Google when they are t he ones abusing the system."

It's amazing too how far BS like "do no evil" stretches to cover all sorts of sins.. The stunt they pulled in China was awesome - accusing them of hacking so they could pull out without anyone noticing the real reason for doing so was because they could not compete with Baidu without breaking the local laws.

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FAIL

short memory?

Right up until Oracle purchased SUN they argued that the open Apache Harmony project should be certified as properly Java compliant. Now, not only have they changed their minds about that, most of the code that is in question in their lawsuit is from Harmony.

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This is not a title

Shouldn't that be "Beellions" of dollars?

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What's the big deal anyway?

Why not just migrate Android away from Java? I'm not exactly sure what's it's supposed to bring to the table anyway. If a managed runtime really is necessary (and I personally don't think it is), it's not as if Google lack the resources to design a language/toolchain/runitme all of their own. Hell, if Microsoft can do it, Google can. Sure developers would have to learn a new language, but then how many Objective-C developers were there until the iPhone arrived? In any case, once you know one C-style language you're at least half the way to knowing any other.

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QT?

QT might be a good choice... Unless Nokia starts doing what Oracle is doing now :-(

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@Matt Bucknall

It's an interesting thought. It's even more interesting to wonder why Google went for Java in the first place.

Suppose the Google design requirements for Android went something like this;

1) cheap to sling together

2) app development not in C/C++, but in a pervasive and slightly trendy language

3) closed eco system - Android apps run only on Android

The answer to 1) is Linux - they could rip that off as much as they like. Android has clearly has been slung together with not much thought given to updates, quality, security, etc. Java would have been a good answer to 2) but 3) gets in the way. Solution - bend Java a bit by using Dalvik, et voila! And it was cheap as chips too - they didn't have to grow a whole ecosystem from the ground up.

Only trouble is Dalvik might not turn out to be cheap at all, and might prove very expensive.

So what do they migrate to? Native, with/without something like Qt? Javascript? I suspect that for most developers the former would be yeurk.

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it would be logical choice but they can't control qt and can't explain meego

If they did acquire qt from Nokia's dead, ms puppet hands, they could have the best thing. A native (and web friendly) framework with the bonus of Meego for the future exploding connected vehicles etc.

Of course, they want to control the whole thing and it won't happen.

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Go

Oracle v. Google - Before We Talk About Damages

"First, the Oracle patents will have to be found valid, either by the court or in re-examination. "

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20110608145006869

Short answer this will probably take years to be decided.

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Stop

Groklaw's reported has really gone downhill in the last few years...

Especally since they didn't answer the following question, "Wouldn't this have already been tested pretty well when SUN sued MS over an incompatible Java package?"

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History

History says Google will lose. Microsoft produced their own non-standard JVM and they had to settle that with Sun.

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How is this relevant?

Google is not being accused of developing its own non-standard JVM, so how does the Microsoft case serve as a historical precedence?

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apples to motorbikes are not the same

If Microsoft had stolen an apple from Sun, Google have stolen a car. If microsoft were successfully sued by Sun for developing a similar language, then oracle have a pretty good chance to sue Google for using their source code (and patents). From what I remember from another Register article it's not just patents, it includes the same source code. Google must get some vert good lawyers to get out of this.

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