back to article Oracle: 'Google owes $2.6bn in damages'

Oracle wants $2.6bn in damages from Google in its case against Android, which Larry Ellison's company claims infringes Java patents it owns. Oracle claims the figure is based on the $200m per year that it claims Google stands to make from Android over a 10-year period. The number itself is the work of Boston University …


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  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The end of Java

    So anybody thinking of using Java in a product is now looking at paying a 100% of any future income to Oracle in a lawsuit ?

    Way to build a brand guys!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Well done

      To begin with, I thought you were being ironically stupid (sarcastic), but then it dawned on me you are just plain stupid - way to go in displaying your complete ignorance and lack of understanding of what the actual issue is here.

      Have a medal.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge


      Google maintains that Dalvick isn't java and doesn't infringe on java.

      So I fail to see your point.

      1. /\/\j17

        Close but no banana

        No, Google claims that removing the copyright notice from the top of a load of Java classes means the copyright no longer applies because the rest is 'just code'.

  2. Cliff

    Tough case...

    I find it hard to choose who I more want to lose.

    1. Zippy the Pinhead

      @ Cliff

      I don't find it hard to choose. Oracle is coming up with stupid insane price for a piece of software that it basically gives away free with the exception of a normal small license fee.

      How much would Oracle charge IBM or MS or Apple for a license fee to cover those patents normally? My guess maybe a few million at best???

      1. Turtle

        Google Rejected A License...

        "...Sun proposed a license deal to Google, which Google rejected: "$60 million over three years plus an additional amount of up to $25 million per year in revenue sharing."

        Incidentally, Sun/Oracle is not required to offer the same license terms to all licensees. Nor is Oracle required to offer those terms again, nor are those terms to be construed as putting a limit on the damages that Oracle may be awarded.

    2. Tom 13

      I think they should award $1 to Google,

      and then make them pay each other's lawyers fees. With court oversight on payment of the lawyers fees of course.

    3. James Broome

      Easy choice.

      Oracle (Offensive Rapacious Anti-Competitive Lying Enterprise). They might be right in their claim, but I still want them to lose spectacularly.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge


    Those figures have already been dissected in great detail on Groklaw. Oracle is also losing heavily in the re-examination of their patents.

    Take a look at the table in th above post. It shows just how many claims in the relevant patents have been tossed out by the USPTO.

    These claims are IMHO in the same fantasy league as SCO's Billions. We all know how that turned out don't we?

    It won't take many more re-examinations to go against Oracle for the $2.6 Billion to be tossed out in a trice.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Actually no

      Its a bit misleading so I'll explain...

      Oracle only has to win on one count.

      Invalidating patents takes time and money and Google is doing their best to fast track this. (Gee no politcal lobbying done on their part, right? ;-) <mock shock>.

      Then there's the copyright issue too.

      As to the numbers. 2.6 billion is an accurate number based on the license revenue, and damages.

      200mil a year for 10 years? Sounds about right because of all of the Google/Android fan bois.

      If it goes to trial... you can also expect to see Oracle claiming punitive damages when they win.

      Interestingly enough, I don't see the telco handset makers asking Google for indemnification, however, I think if Oracle wins the full amount, they may not go after the handset makers.


  4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Is it a phone company, or is it a bird?

    This might be reasonable if Oracle was a phone company ... instead of an organization running the business databases that enabled many of the leading financial companies to completely fail to see the last meltdown. If Oracle, and it's bloody yacht with Larry onboard, sailed off the end of the world - would anyone actually care?

    Runs faster. Costs less. And never gives a toss either.

    Frankly I think Oracle OWES us money.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @Version 1.0

      How is Oracle responsible for the financial meltdown? Because they used Oracle databases? That just doesn't make sense to me.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        In good part because

        Oracle pushed their database services as the way to predict future sales, income and profits from past data - use Oracle and the future is rosy, use Oracle and you will beat your competitors performance, use Oracle and predict ways to boost income etc etc ... go back and read their advertising copy.

        OK - so Oracle didn't CAUSE the financial meltdown, the High Street bankers and the likes of Goldman Sachs and friends did that in their relentless pursuit of profit over morality - not that they've changed their ways recently either - BUT I do think that the way that Oracle marketed their services DID have a large effect on the market overall - they provided the tools to help the bankers and friends justify their faulty projections ... just as you can't shout "Fire" in a crowded theater, I don't think you can shout "Free Money" either.

        But, to side with you (AC) and put it to in historical terms - Let's say that IBM should be held blameless for tabulating Jewish individuals for the Third Reich. I'd agree that IBM may not have known what was happening when they started in 1933, but it's hard to argue that IBM's must be held blameless by 1939?

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Big Brother

        "completely fail to see the last meltdown"

        Nothing to do with databases.

        You "fail to see" the meltdown because it's politically or financially expedient or you still haven't fully paid of your Playboy Mansion.

        Just look at Greenspan. He knew 100% what would happen [and what he was doing to make it happen] yet failed to see it coming.

        Yes, human nature.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Sure - Human Nature

          But you still need to sell the idea - and what better to back it up than "Oracle says we're all going to be rich" ... Just LOOK at those projected sales figures!

          1. cloudgazer

            most investment banks I worked at were sybase shops

            So the whole oracle enabled the meltdown argument is wrong in pretty much every way you could conceive.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Nope - they still need to come to some agreement

        But $2.6 billion in damages when Oracle isn't in the business of selling phones or communications is just stupid. Damages? What, you think that Larry bought SUN because he wanted to get into the phone business?

        Nope, I didn't think so either. Larry bought SUN so that he could take a piss in someones' Weetabix.

        Although looking at the latest Larry pics - he's starting to look worse than the Jobs boy. Larry was never that handsome but recently he's starting to look downright decrepit.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Enquiring Minds need to know....

    just exactly who's cock is getting burned by all this patent nonsense.

    Boy I wish I could give estimates that range from 1.6 to 4 billion dollars.

    B.U. must stand for Bullshit University because that's a pretty wide spread.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      To be fair, I can give estimates that give in that range... and exactly like Oracle they are arbitrarily picked out of the air,

    2. PeterGriffin

      On a small screen...

      ..I initially read Cockbum then realised it was Cockburn. Considering the claims I decided I was correct the first time.

    3. Giles Jones Gold badge


      This isn't about patents. This is about IP and copyright.

      Android's dalvik VM is based on an Apache project and there's been some reverse engineering to Java over the years to produce that.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would anyone care?

    If Oracle, and it's bloody yacht with Larry onboard, sailed off the end of the world - would anyone actually care?

    Yes, they would, many people would be quite happy.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Flat Earth theory

      Stop living in the past - we've proved the Earth is not flat you know! Oh, and Santa Claus doesn't exist. And neither does the tooth fairy - it's your parents replacing your tooth with money.

      Sorry for the wake up call.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        If certain theories regarding the world ...

        It's fun to charter an accountant,

        And sail the wide accountancy.

        To find, explore the funds offshore,

        And skirt the shoals of bankruptcy.

        It can be manly in insurance.

        We'll up your premium semi-annually.

        It's all tax-deductible,

        We're fairly incorruptible.

        We're sailing on the wide accountancy.

    2. My Alter Ego

      I'd care

      It'd be a waste of a bloody good yacht.

  7. NoneSuch
    Thumb Up

    Can anyone see a Nokiaesque resemblance here?

    Oracle is worth 164 billion today.

    Google just needs to wait until this mess gets around to their stock holders.

    The stock price will plummet.

    Google picks up the majority of Oracle stock for a song. (Essentially hostile takeover)

    Fire Larry.

    Smooth sailing after.

  8. ratfox Silver badge

    So how exactly is Google making money?

    On a system it is giving away for free?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ignorant or stupid?

      To a small degree, they make money from apps - both a cut from paid apps, and the money all the developers have to pay to sell stuff on the market. Then there's adverts - adverts on webpages people look at on their phones, ads on Google Map searches, etc etc.

      But the main revenue stream isn't direct, it's that tie-in that people have if they're using Google on their phone - it ties them to Google services on their desktops/laptops too, and keeps them hooked into the Google way of life. This means Google can learn who you are even more efficiently, and supply even more targetted adverts.

  9. Paul Shirley

    "but those disputes do not provide a basis for a Daubert motion."

    ...but the judge didn't agree and the Daubert motion is going ahead. After reading how Cockburn came up with his figures it was obvious that would happen. If Oracle come out of that with 10% of that 2.6bil left it will be in the right ball park. Ready to be whittled down in parallel with Oracles claims being pruned or lost...

    What's most intriguing is how low that 2.6bil figure is, considering their 'expert' tried so hard to inflate the figures. It's a figure so low, if Google lost completely and paid it all, it would still likely end not much more than paying licence fees to Oracle up front! Except of course this isn't about paying for Java, because Oracle are continuing Sun's policy of only licensing Java ME for phones, which is no use at all to Google.

    There's a very good chance this whole mess will actually cost Oracle more than they can ever recover, *even if they win*. The numbers just don't make any sense. It really is just about killing Android.

  10. Tom 35 Silver badge

    Google owes $2.6bn damages

    Don't forget the pony while your making wishes.

  11. Jean-Luc Silver badge

    And what were we looking at in terms of IP infringement?

    7-8 api files looking suspiciously like the Oracle/Sun equivalent?

    That's a lot of $ per L.O.C.

    I hope Java sinks on this.

    "We're open source, but not really. We're open but not our TCKs. Oh, and write once run anywhere, but you have to use J2ME on mobiles because we say so. We're community-led, as long as we have a veto on everyone else."

    Cat's out the bag. Java is open standards, by Oracle's definition of open. I've never much liked Java's claim to be the only programming language that matters, mostly because I don't want to be bothered learning it anymore. Nice to see them shoot themselves in the foot.

    Larry's the new Darl McBride. Bit smarter and a bigger yacht though.

    1. /\/\j17

      Ah, the "I only stole a little bit" defence...

      So they didn't steal very much so they should not only be let off but permitted to carry on selling* it...

      One assumes you'd have no objections to someone breaking in to your house, so long as they only stole one or two things, not lost of your property?

      * Yes I'm aware that Google (currently) give Android away free but then it's easy to give things away free when you keep your costs down by stealing things!

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Bad analogy

        What the OP is saying is that *if* Google swiped code, (Innocent unless proven guilty and all of that) then the damages/restitution should be on par with what they took. to adjust your analogy:

        If someone broke into my house and stole a laptop, a camera, and some nasty sake, and pawned/sold/drank it all before the cops got to them; I would expect the courts to order restitution of ~$5000. I would not expect the court to award damages enough to cover the house, and all materials inside.

      2. Jean-Luc Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        @/\/\j17 No, the common sense and proportionality defense.

        OK, we screwed up and copied your code in 7 files. Somebody was lazy and we did not catch it.

        Here's $100M (these are big companies), we'll remove this code and rewrite it as per the API/interface, not the implementation.

        Then let's get on with business and let the better team win, seeing as this is supposed to be an open standard.

        Should I type more slowly?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    If the worst happens ...

    ... offshore funds. Does Oracle or Google care ? This is a money laundering scheme of huge proportions for both of them.

  13. Patrick 8

    Java is dead

    Java is dead, long live Python! or Jython if you need to leverage your existing java infrastructure while you migrate to a pure python solution!

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Fuck it!

      I'm going to rewrite the bloody thing in FORTRAN.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    "instead of an organization running the business databases that enabled many of the leading financial companies to completely fail to see the last meltdown"

    What tosh - it's like blaming a knife company for a murder as they made knives with the sharpest blades.

  15. poohbear

    Your winnings, sir.

    I am shocked! Shocked! that an economics professor failed to include growth or inflation... how can you arrive at a realistic number without including either? In fact the calculation gives away the thumbsuck methodology.

  16. Adam 37

    What scares Oracle is a desktop java that works

    Gee a desktop linux+java combination which people actually wonder Oracle are worried...J2SE for running Tomcat etc......some sort of Davlik + Android apps for desktop stuff.....first J2ME is killed & then they come for Swing et al....

    I have done (& am doing right now) Swing, SWT & Android & wrt UI apps.....I would choose android all the way.

  17. John G Imrie Silver badge


    The number itself is the work of Boston University professor of finance and economics Iain Cockburn, who was hired by Oracle to calculate damages it says Google owes.

    Is this the same 'but for' universe that SCO's damage claims inhabit?

  18. shaunhw

    What is Java based on anyway ?

    If Oracle are arguing about its rights to the Java language -

    The Java language looks almost identical to C, with bits (such as pointers and structures missing) and classes added which are similar to C Plus Plus.

    Are the "C" like syntax constructs prior art ? I think they are.

    How much of Java can Oracle own, given that much of it is so "C" like ?

    All of it ? '

    The few bits of the language which are different ?

    The bits which are missing like pointers, #defines and structures ?

    Just the added classes (the main difference IMO) which look a little C++ like ?

    Can you take complete ownership of something in the public domain, so subtly changed, having removed a few bits from it here, and added a few other bits there whilst leaving it recognisably similar ?

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