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Major damages sought in Oracle-Google patent dispute

Matt Hamblen, Computerworld | June 7, 2011
A new document in a year-old patent lawsuit filed by Oracle against Google over Android intellectual property suggests Oracle could be seeking huge damages from Google.

Neither Google nor Oracle responded to a request for comment on the case.

Mueller, who calls himself an "activist" blogger, blasted Google for separating Android as an operating system from Google's revenues for Android-based advertising. "On this item, I agree 100% with Oracle and 0% with Google," Mueller wrote. "No matter how much I dislike Oracle's software patents I can't support Google's position on this royalty base issue." He added that Google's representations "defy logic and deny reality."

Mueller said Google chose to make Android available to developers and others without a royality "but doesn't do this for charity. There's a clear business model, and its most essential part [is] advertising revenues related to search and other online services."

Mueller also noted that Cockburn's valuation of a 50% royalty rate could be tripled under the U.S. legal code if Google's alleged patent infringement is found to be willful.

Taking those factors into consideration and the 44 current Android-related patent infringement lawsuits already filed in U.S. courts, Mueller noted that the "Android ecosystem stands on allegedly thin ice."

Mueller noted that Oracle must be holding out for generous damages from Google because that case hasn't settled out of court, as do 95% of such cases. A trial could be held in five months.

"The two companies are not just miles but light years apart, and it could very well be that a defeat in court would require Google to make fundamental changes to its Dalvik virtual machine -- changes that would likely affect many if not all existing Dalvik-based (.DEX) applications," Mueller concluded. "But even in purely financial terms, there's serious doubt as to whether Google would be able to meet Oracle's requirements while continuing to make Android available without charge a per-copy license fee. This lawsuit has the potential to bring about a restructuring of Google's Android business in economic as well as technical terms."

 

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