Larry Ellison and Larry Page could be forced into mediation to negotiate a settlement in Oracle's multi-billion-dollar claim that Google's Android tramples Java patents it owns. The US judge hearing Oracle's suit against Google has said he's deciding whether to order both sides into mediation, presided over by a magistrate judge …
Celebrity Death Match!!!
World's biggest patent troll.
What's that.. they aren't because they actually make stuff? Okay then.. did they invent Java? No? Did they instead buy Sun and go hunting for things they could sue for?
Go to trial
I want to see Oracle definitively slapped down so it can't troll smaller companies afterward.
Trouble is, while Oracle deserve to lose, I really want to see Google slapped for being so ridiculously cavalier with copyright law (again).
mediation yes, settlement, not necessarily
He can certainly order them into mediation. He cant easily force them to settle through mediation. Perhaps not at all without both parties consent till after the trial actually starts.
Right now this would be a good way for Oracle to back down before their costs start really escalating. With the ongoing patent reexaminations and other defences, the most likely outcome is a huge delay rather than actually going to trial in Oct. Time is Oracles enemy, the longer this continues the more of their IP will be invalidated, the more can be worked around.
I still believe Oracle will fail to cover their own costs, *if* they win. What has changed is I'm beginning to believe they won't win anything. While Oracle deployed their lawyers to attack SCO style, Google deployed theirs years ago analysing licences.
It's an unfortunate fact that close to zero IT people have a strong grasp of IT law, quite how much it allows. A lot of Googles use of free software rides right at the edge of what's legal, it looks wrong because copyright in particular often defies common sense at a casual glance.
Too Funny comments from the commentards...
First, no cage fight. Unless both Larrys decided to fight by proxy and use paid wrestlers from the WWE. But that won't work because we all know the WWE is fixed. ;-)
But its also just as funny having an AC call Oracle a patent troll. Oracle has patents, sure. They have lawyers, sure. But unlike patent trolls, Oracle actually makes money, lots of money, from selling actual products.
Note: Nobody should read too much in to the 'court ordered mediation'. Its an option that the judge can use in an effort to try and bring both sides to the table and to negotiate a settlement.
If you think things are ugly now... add in all of the Android tablets that are being released in to the wild. Not sure if they would also fall under the category of a laptop which would be an extension of a desktop, or if it falls under the definition as a mobile device. I'll leave it up to the lawyers to figure that one out...
The point is that while Google comes up w prior art for some, they may not get prior art for all. Since they are on the defense, they have to defend against *all* claims unless for some reason Oracle loses its credibility.
RE: unless for some reason Oracle loses its credibility
like for example if "the amount of prior art involved provided so much ammunition for the defense it would take up too much court time"? I'd say the judge is already questioning the credibility of their claims.
@Ian Michael Gumby
While not a troll in the normal sense they are acting like many trolls do.
Classic patent trolls are companies that buy up patents that no one is enforcing and build a business out of trying to screw money out people.
In this case, presumably Google had the tacit approval of Sun, or at least Sun were aware of what was happening and had agreed not to doing anything about it.
The patents have now changed hands to a far more belligerent owner, who have a bee in there bonnet and want to make an issue of it.
I guess that is the way the world works. Unless Google can prove that they had permission, and a nod and a wink ain't going to cut any mustard, then there is an issue.
Google didn't have Suns approval
Google are really in a bad place. Anyone who wasn't a #1 fandroid or just plain retarded knew that you need a licence for Java on mobile devices, after all Sun was selling a lot of those licences, and that Android was "Java on Linux". If this get's to trial, Oracle will show the e-mail from Andy Rubin, the guy in charge of Android to Larry & Sergey:
"If Sun doesn't want to work with us, we have two options: 1) Abandon our work and adopt MSFT CLR VM and C# language - or - 2) Do Java anyway and defend our decision, perhaps making enemies along the way"
As well as this one, 5 years later, from the head of the team asked to look for alternatives to java :
"What we've actually been asked to do (by Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin]) is to investigate what technical alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome. We've been over a bunch of these, and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need."
I don't see Oracle setteling this out of court, because if they win that's maybe $8 billion in the bank and more importantly an injunction against distribution of the code. NIANAL but the way it looks, if Oracle gets an injuction, wouldn't that make all those US Android phones infringing items. If so, whats to stop Oracle going after the US carriers and saying something like "pay us $XX billions or we will get an injunction against those phone accessing your networks and you can deal with the class action suits"? It would be interesting to hear from someone who is a US lawyer because this looks like Oracles end game to me.
This is also why i think Google wouldn't/couldn't give any guarantee over Android use.
Been reading this title ALL DAY as
Yeah, me too!
Actually, might be a good idea.
"the amount of prior art involved provided so much ammunition for the defense"
Surely if he acknowledges that could those patents just not have been dismessed rather than asking oracle to cherry pick, it would have been interesting to see how many are obviously no longer relevant as patents to a Judge.
I do not think he is paid to evaluate the actual patents.
I do not think that his job, to declare the patent valid or not, that the patent office job. He just gave his own personal opinion.
He also gave his opinion that communications inside Google would damage Google case in front pf a jury. Which is probably a warning to Google that the jury would place a leak email above that of actual code analyst and all the technical details an evidence.
Oracle may of pick the wrong target, Google have been planning this for years, they had hired the creator of Java, if anyone knows where the prior art is hidden it him, and they have also hired a bunch of former sun employees, who also undoubtedly offered useful suggestions of where there ideas originated from.
Oracle got a mountain to climb, and Google will be firing a high power sniper rifle at them all the way.
@David 164 ... Huh?
'Oracle got a mountain to climb, and Google will be firing a high power sniper rifle at them all the way.'
Uhm actually no, its the reverse.
As you pointed out, Google is its own worst enemy and juries are unpredictable.
Most will have their eyes glaze over when you go technical. Oracle can make their case and win.
Add to this the incriminating e-mails... you have a strong case.
Google will want to settle. When Oracle goes to trial, there's a lot more ammunition that they can pull out. Remember this story has just begun.
Google fucked up badly
Remember Google went into the smartphone biz not to take on Apple or RIM or even Symbia but to stop Microsoft. This Android v Apple stuff is fanboi jerk off stuff. Google makes more money from the serch deal with Apple than Android where they, assuming the moto deal gets done, are in the hole for $18-20 billion. The best case for google is "we are fucked but not wiped out". OK the best case for google is they win but that will take a minor miracle and a couple of saints.
The more you look at Oracle v Google the nastier it looks for Google's partners and everyone involved in disttributian of Android devices. If Oracle win's on the licence, which is the important part, then they can do a RIAA on every one who has sold an Android phone, hell they could do it on everyone who owns one. If Oracle wins and get's an injunction, this will turn the current patent wars into a cluster fuck of biblical proportions.
This is the popcorn and coke case. I suspect this will go down in the study books for how to win or how to lose. The stupid thing is Google could have bought Sun for much less than moto, sold of the hardware devison to Fujitsu, cross licenced Java with Oracle (they needed Java for there middlewere) and what are we talking about? 1 billion maybe 2, cheeper than HP's Palm play. Hell the only reason Oracle bought Sun was for Java, that's how much they needed it, if Google had jumped in first, they could have probably sold and licened the parts for more than they paid!
Anyway, for us people who dont care as long as the tech does what we wont, Damm you popcorn makers, how did you set this up :)
Like to see them ACTUALLY kiss & make up.
Now that would be something scary.
And this is why Trey and Matt created puppet sex.
Gratuitous puppet sex.
I thought it said "meditation" too....
...So that would have been Leisure [Law]Suit Larrys then...
... I know, getting me coat.
I'm not an expert but
Don't you hate posts that start that way?
But it does seem to me that this is different from the normal patent trolling. As much as I dislike Larry Ellison, the patent system as it currently works in the US and, in particular, the idea of patents being bought and then used to sue people it does look like Google made an executive decision here to clearly and knowingly use Java as a cornerstone of their o/s without licensing it.
If the suit is dismissed just because Android is so widely used then I see things getting worse rather than better. The lesson for all large companies will be 'if you want to ignore patents then just make sure you have enough lawyers and that your product is high-profile enough by the time you're found out that noone can conceive of finding a judgement against you'.
I know that things are implicitly like that anyway as far as small organisations' IP is concerned, but I think this pushes things even further than they already have been.