Oracle Seeks $2.6B From Google in Android Spat
Reports of Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) seeking damages up to $6 billion in its Android patent infringement case versus Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) were exaggerated, the company claimed in a new legal filing.
Oracle said in the June 28 filing it desires $2.6 billion, split between a $900,000 to $1.4 billion up-front payment, plus a revenue share of between 10 and 15 percent of Google's mobile advertising sales generated from Android phones.
This clashes with the 50 percent split Google alleged Oracle wanted, and less even than the 20 percent-plus royalty the search engine Google suggested Oracle was after, according to intellectual property expert Florian Mueller, who has been doggedly following the case.
Oracle sued Google for patent and copyright infringement over Google's use of Java in its open-source Android operating system.
Oracle, which purchased Sun Microsystems and renamed it Oracle America in January, accused Google of infringing seven Java patents and other copyrights. The case has been wending its way in U.S. District Court in Northern California since last August, but has heated up of late with motion after motion being filed in June.
Google's lawyers June 6 asked presiding Judge William Alsup to discount recommendations of Iain Cockburn, the Boston University professor hired by Oracle to calculate damages, who said Oracle deserves mobile ad sales Google gleaned from searches conducted on Android phones.
Cockburn suggested Oracle seek a 50 percent royalty rate and that damages would amount to "billions of dollars." Google said in a June 14 motion that it believed the number to be between "1.4 billion and $ 6.1 billion dollars."
Oracle said in its new filing that $2.6 billion is the actual number. However, as Mueller pointed out, that doesn't account for the possible tripling of damages if Google is found to have infringed willfully, which Oracle has asserted.
"The total amount of Oracle's damages claims presupposes that Google continues to infringe at least some of the asserted rights "through 2021," Mueller noted. "However, Oracle also asks the court for an injunction, which might (based on the current case schedule) be issued before the end of the year."
Mueller believes that if Oracle wins an injunction, it would win on two counts.
First, Oracle would receive past damages in the form of an up-front payment, as well as ad-revenue sharing from 2008, which is when Android first appeared on smartphones, through the trial date. Such damages would be less than the current $2.6 billion sum Oracle is asking for.
Second, Google would have to cease distributing Android unless it
secures a licensing deal with Oracle. This would surpass the current
damages Oracle is seeking from Google.
Moreover, Google might be ordered to make technical changes to Android to assuage some of fragmentation Oracle alleged Android inflicted on Java.
Mueller detailed other outcomes of the case on his blog.