Oracle seeks more than $9B from Google in case over Java patents in Android

Oracle is seeking as much as $9.3 billion in damages from Google in a long-running copyright dispute over the use of Oracle's Java platform in Google's Android smartphone operating system.

Oracle sued Google in August 2010 in a California court, claiming that Google was aware of its patent infringements several years prior when it hired Sun Microsystems' Java engineers to develop Android (Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010). Google "knowingly, directly and repeatedly" infringed Java patents, an Oracle spokesperson said at the time.

Citing a report authored by an expert Oracle hired to calculate the damages, IDG News Service said the latest sum is roughly 10 times the amount Oracle sought when the case went to trial in 2012. The jury was split in that case over whether Google was protected by "fair use" of Java.

The increased figure stems from the enormous growth of Android since 2010 as the worldwide smartphone market exploded.

James Malackowski, Oracle's expert witness, wrote in a lengthy analysis that Google owes $475 million in damages and an additional $8.8 billion in "profits apportioned to infringed Java copyrights." Malackowski is the CEO of Ocean Tomo, an "intellectual property merchant bank" that provides expert testimony and other services.

"Google's strategy in launching Android as a mobile platform was to ensure a continuing revenue stream from its search services in connection with mobile advertising," he wrote in the report. "Mobile search has generated significant advertising revenue and profit for Google, and the Android platform is a critical component of Google's overall mobile search business."

Malackowski's report also implies Google was rushing to get its OS to market following Apple's launch of the iPhone. The company opted to use Java to help expedite the development of Android, according to the document.

As The Register notes, Google has already filed paperwork questioning Malackowski's report. "The allegedly infringing material makes up a mere fraction of a percent of code in the complex Android smartphone platform," Google wrote.

A new trial is slated to begin May 9 in a San Francisco federal district court.

For more:
- see this IDG News Service report

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