Oracle, Google Fail Still Unable to Settle Java Patent Dispute

Paul Lilly

Oracle thinks it's entitled to at least $2 billion in damages from Google over a handful of Java-related patent and copyright infringements in Android. Actually, Oracle might feel it's entitled to at least $6.1 billion, a number U.S. District Judge William Alsup rejected in July. The judge ordered Oracle to come up with a new damages report and suggested the firm start at $100 million.

While Google is willing to settle the case for a sum, it scoffed at the $2 billion figure now reportedly being thrown around. Robert Van Nest, a lawyer for Google, said in a letter to Alsup that Oracle's new figure "ignores governing law and guidelines of this court's July 22, 2011 order," according to a report in Business Week .

The two sides appear far apart, and the gap may be wider than originally thought. Software patent guru Florian Muller has been keeping tabs on this case said there's no evidence Oracle is even willing to come down to $2 billion.

"Yesterday, at least three major news agencies -- all of which typically do a great job reporting on this dispute -- said or suggested that Oracle's damages had been reduced from $6 billion to an amount just above $2 billion. However, there's absolutely no evidence -- none at all -- for such a reduction in the court documents, and in fact, Oracle's damages claims might be even higher now than before," Muller wrote in a blog post . "By the way, the $6.1 billion figure was doubtful anyway because it only appeared in Google's representations of those claims, and Oracle itself denied it firmly."

The ~$2 billion figure comes from adding up the numbers in a Google letter regarding damages that was filed on Tuesday, but Muller says Oracle's is seeking damages from the day Android launched all the way until the year 2025. With that in mind, Oracle might be seeking much more than even the $6.1 billion figure.

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