Oracle, Google gird for trial on Android dispute
Thursday, March 29, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Oracle and Google are digging in their heels as they prepare for an upcoming trial.
Two of Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies, they haven’t agreed on much since Oracle filed its lawsuit against Google 19 months ago, and there appears to be little chance for a settlement before the trial is scheduled to begin April 16.
The dispute hinges on Oracle’s allegations that Google’s widely used Android software for mobile devices infringes on copyrights and patents that Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems Inc. for $7.3 billion in 2010. The technology in question is Java, a programming language that has been around since the 1990s.
Oracle Corp., a business software maker with $36 billion in annual revenue, is seeking hundreds of millions in damages.
Google Inc., which relies on its dominance of Internet search and advertising for most of its $38 billion in annual revenue, believes it won’t have to pay more than a few million dollars.
A joint statement filed this week provided the latest reminder of the friction between the two companies.
In the papers, Google argued that the trial could be shortened from its currently scheduled duration of eight weeks and sought to appear before U.S. District Judge William Alsup instead of a jury. Oracle doesn’t believe the trial schedule should be revised nor is it willing to waive its right to a jury trial.
Google estimates it will have to pay about $2.8 million if it’s determined that Android infringes on two Java patents that are being reviewed in the case. The company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., told Alsup that it’s also prepared to pay 0.5 percent of Android’s future revenue for one Java patent expiring at the end of this year and 0.015 percent of Android’s future revenue for the other patent, which expires in April 2018.
The court papers don’t explain how Android’s revenue would be calculated. Google doesn’t charge for Android, but makes some money from mobile advertising occurring on the software and third-party applications sold to run on the operating systems.
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