Google disputes damages estimate in Oracle case

The search giant asks the court to throw out the damages estimate from an expert witness

Google has asked a California court to throw out the testimony of an expert witness who said Google should pay Oracle as much as US$6 billion for allegedly infringing on Java patents and copyright.

"His methodology is grounded only in a desire to maximize Oracle's damages," Google wrote in its request to dismiss testimony given by Iain Cockburn, the Boston University professor Oracle called as a damages expert.

The case, filed last year in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, centers on Google's alleged use of Oracle patents in the virtual machine it built to run Java apps in Android devices. Since Oracle purchased Sun Microsystems, it now controls the use of Java.

Earlier this year, Cockburn estimated that Google would owe Oracle between $1.4 billion and $6.1 billion if it were found to infringe on Oracle's Java patents. In June, Google sent a letter to the court suggesting that it would dispute the damages estimate.

On Tuesday, Google laid out in more detail a number of issues it sees with Cockburn's estimates, including that he based his estimates on Google's gains from Android as a whole, rather than from just the alleged infringing technology.

He also includes Google's Android advertising revenue even though Oracle doesn't allege that Google ads infringe the relevant patents, Google wrote in the filing.

Google also argues that Oracle's purchase price for Sun -- $7.4 billion -- proves that the relevant patents can't be as valuable as the upper estimate that Cockburn suggests Google owes. "Sun was much bigger than 'Java,' and ... the patents and copyrights at issue here are a small part of 'Java.' Cockburn's estimate would allow Oracle to substantially finance its entire acquisition of Sun," Google wrote.

In fact, Google says that in early 2010, Oracle valued all of Sun's software-related core technology, which would include more than Java, at $68.8 million.

Google also argues that Cockburn calculated damages through the end of 2025 even though six of the seven relevant patents expire in 2018 or earlier and that Cockburn counted international revenue while the law only allows for the recovery of damages for domestic infringement.

This dispute could drag on for years if both companies believe they can win and if they decide to appeal verdicts. The ramifications are significant for both companies, particularly if Oracle wins. In that case, Oracle stands to gain billions of dollars in revenue each year from licensing agreements. If Google is required to pay for each instance of Android in use and if it passes that cost onto handset makers, it could see Android's momentum slow.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsGoogleintellectual propertycopyrightsmartphonespatentAndroidlegalOracle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?