Google's Larry Page and Oracle's Larry Ellison fail to reach a settlement after a day of negotiation so the judge orders them back to the table.
to reach a settlement after a day of negotiation, the CEOs of Google and Oracle
have been summoned to appear for a second round of talks to try to settle
Oracle's patent-infringement lawsuit against Google over the use of Java in the
Android mobile OS.
court filings, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal has called for the leaders of
Oracle and Google to return to the U.S District Judge in San Jose, Calif., on
Sept. 21 after the companies failed to come to agreement on a settlement during
a day-long meeting on Sept. 19.
The battle of
the Larrys-Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, and Larry Page, CEO of Google-might be
viewed as a battle of good and evil, or at least the old guard versus the new.
Ellison has been a swashbuckler of the technology industry, making his bones
with a timely investment in a database platform and parlaying that into a
series of acquisitions that continue to empower Oracle.
Oracle's acquisition of
Sun Microsystems gave rise to the current lawsuit, as Ellison, who has been
around the block a time or two, saw fit to tax Google with a toll for allegedly
tapping into Oracle's patented Java technology-acquired from Sun-without its
permission. Ellison has proven in lawsuits that he is not afraid to mix it up
in court, nor is he averse to calling on the government to scrutinize
competitors when it is convenient.
Google co-founder Page is known as a serious engineer and businessman, but is
new to the CEO ranks, having stepped in as CEO in April after Eric Schmidt
stepped down to become Google's executive chairman.
Mueller, an intellectual-property analyst who has closely watched this case,
said in a Sept. 19 blog post
: "I believe there's a
reasonable chance that Larry Page will show the strong leadership he's
demonstrated since taking over the helm and make Larry Ellison an offer too
good to refuse: a ton of money in exchange for a perpetual license. The side
effect of encouraging other patent holders to expect similar payoffs is
inevitable but not a reason not to do what needs to be done."
yet there is no indication that any progress has been made toward a settlement.
If the lineup of who showed up for the negotiations is any indicator, Google
weighed in with more bodies. In addition to Page, there in attendance at the
Sept. 19 meeting was David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer, and Andy
Rubin, Google's senior vice president of mobile, who oversees Android
development, according to a court filing. A court filing also said Safra Catz,
Oracle's president and chief financial officer, joined Ellison.
The two sides
come to the negotiation from vastly different positions. Oracle has argued and
had its expert assert that the database giant could be due as much as $6
billion in damages because of Google's use of Java. However, Google maintains
that if it owes anything, it should be no more than $100 million.
chances of getting out of this lawsuit unscathed are rather slim," Mueller
said. "Oracle probably wouldn't win a trial on all counts, but it's highly
likely to win on at least some of them, and quite probably the counts on which
Oracle would prevail would be powerful enough. However, Google has to think
about the implications of any settlement of this particular litigation for its
should the two sides fail to reach a settlement, the judge could order them to
continue to meet to negotiate. However, if negotiations are eventually
exhausted with no agreement, the case is set to go to trial at the end of October.