Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Android Google Java Oracle The Almighty Buck The Courts

Oracle Ordered To Lower Damages Claim On Google 204

Posted by timothy
from the that's-why-they-overreach-to-start dept.
CWmike writes "Oracle has been ordered to lower its multibillion-dollar claim for damages in its patent infringement lawsuit against Google and its Android operating system, court papers show. Oracle's expert 'overreached' in concluding that Google owed up to $6.1 billion in damages for alleged infringement of Oracle's Java patents, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup said Friday in a sternly written order. The 'starting point' for Oracle's damages claim should be $100 million, adjusted up and down for various factors, he said. At the same time, Google was wrong to assert that its advertising revenue is not related to the value of Android and should therefore not be a part of Oracle's damages, the judge wrote. He also warned Google, 'there is a substantial possibility that a permanent injunction will be granted' if it is found guilty of infringement."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Oracle Ordered To Lower Damages Claim On Google

Comments Filter:
  • Language (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Threni (635302) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @06:51PM (#36859500)

    What are the chances that Google will:

    1) alter the way the Dalvik VM works such that the same source will execute differently, although producing the same results, so that app developers code continues to work, or

    2) launch a new language for developing Android apps, but with a conversion tool to take existing source and turn it into whatever the new language looks like (some other variant on c/java/whatever...lets face it they're all practically identical nowadays)?

    • by IrquiM (471313)
      Buy Oracle - it's cheaper!
    • by glebovitz (202712)

      Wouldn't it be funny if Google started supporting Qt Quick / QML as an alternative to Davik and then encouraged QML app development? Google would end up fighting Nokia and Microsoft in the market using Nokia's technology.

      I know it isn't going to happen, but there is a QML implementation supported on Android.

    • by node 3 (115640)

      When has Google ever successfully done something like this? Their products consist almost entirely on either products they bought (like Android) or by utilizing the works of others (Linux, WebKit).

      Coming up with a drop-in replacement for Dalvik (or significantly altering it) is nowhere near as easy as your question implies, nor is it something Google has shown themselves proficient at doing.

      • Actually, writing a VM that is as good as Dalvik (which isn't particularly impressive today, as far as optimizations go - nowhere near JVM, for example) is not hard. The problem is doing that in such a way that it doesn't infringe on Oracle's patents. That is very tricky.

        • by node 3 (115640)

          That's exactly my point. The OP is talking about them completely replacing it with something new (or altered significantly), not just making a new-but-compatible VM.

          • But this isn't an issue of compatibility. Even if they replace it with something very different, so long as it has a "virtual instruction set" (i.e. some form of bytecode) and JIT compilation, it'll be infringing. And I find it hard to come up with a VM design without bytecode - it's been around for several decades for a good reason - and I don't see how it could be made efficient without JIT.

            About the only workaround I can think of is to AOT-compile to native code, either on the phone (e.g. when app is ins

            • by node 3 (115640)

              I don't think simply being JIT is the basis of Oracle's claims against Google.

              • I've already posted this link in a comment in another thread, but let me repeat this - it's one of the patents in question:

                http://www.google.com/patents/about/6910205_Interpreting_functions_utilizing.html?id=U-4UAAAAEBAJ [google.com]

                What is claimed is:
                1. In a computer system, a method for increasing the execution speed of virtual machine instructions at runtime, the method comprising:

                receiving a first virtual machine instruction;
                generating, at runtime, a new virtual machine instruction that represents or references one or more native instructions that can be executed instead of said first virtual machine instruction; and
                executing said new virtual machine instruction instead of said first virtual machine instruction.
                ...
                8. In a computer system, a method for increasing the execution speed of virtual machine instructions, the method comprising:

                inputting virtual machine instructions for a function;
                compiling a portion of the function into at least one native machine instruction so that the function includes both virtual and native machine instruction;
                representing said at least one native machine instruction with a new virtual machine instruction that is executed after the compiling of the fuction.

                It goes on to detail the claims, but altogether this describes the standard way of making a JIT-compiling bytecode VM: replacing bytecode with native code prefixed by a single "native JMP to following" bytecode pseudo-op. Other claims also add the ability to store the original bytecode else

    • This isn't about the language at all, this is strictly about VM at this point.

      And my understanding is that, if Oracle's patents are valid, it is very hard to create a high-performance VM without trodding on them - one patent in particular [google.com] is pretty much a patent for JIT-compiling bytecode.

  • Sun (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nicholas22 (1945330) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @06:51PM (#36859502)
    And THAT is the answer to the question "why did Google not buy Sun". It is cheaper to just some nickels and dimes now. And I guess they didn't need Solaris.
    • Re:Sun (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23, 2011 @07:03PM (#36859540)

      They just reduced the cost of a settlement. A permanent injunction is still pretty bad. If they though there was a threat or wanted to pay that much, they could have just taken sun offer at the time for a 100mil.

    • It cost Oracle $5.6 billion to buy Sun. I guess Google thought it was cheaper to deal with the lawsuit.
      • Think about how Sun would have taken a totally opposite direction if Google bought them. Instead of Sun starting to suck they're be pretty awesome by now.
      • by williamhb (758070)

        Given the effort Google have gone to to hire across an awful lot of Sun's staff since the transition, it does seem very strange they didn't just buy them in the first place, getting the staff, patents, and getting rid of the need to try to create a split between Dalvik and Java. I guess they just balked at buying the hardware side, but as I understood it they could have resold that part to HP fairly easily.

    • by node 3 (115640)

      And THAT is the answer to the question "why did Google not buy Sun". It is cheaper to just some nickels and dimes now. And I guess they didn't need Solaris.

      Not quite. The reason Google didn't buy Sun is that there's nothing of value for them that they would have gained other than Java. That's a lot of money to spend on just a small subset of Sun's value.

      The rest of Sun in no way promotes any of Google's revenue streams.

  • I'd just like to be the first to say, "fuck Oracle".

    I hope those bastards fade into irrelevance. I mean, what haven't they done to piss everyone off recently?

    • Interesting point. One could say that Google is doing Oracle a favor by using Java in the platform. I can't think of ANY software on my PCs that are written in Java but my Android device is chock-full of it.

      • by gman003 (1693318)

        I use 2 major Java apps. The first is Minecraft, aka "game that became insanely popular for a few months but has kinda faded away now". The second is GanntProject, a free and open-source project-management tool.

        Other than those two, the only Java apps I have are the ones I wrote for a college class, which I haven't touched since I took said class.

      • by Sique (173459)

        About 50% of the applications I use at work are java based. So MMMV (My Mileage May Vary).

    • by igreaterthanu (1942456) * on Saturday July 23, 2011 @08:56PM (#36860006)

      I'd just like to be the first to say, "fuck Oracle".

      I'm sorry to inform you but you are too late [lmgtfy.com].

  • All parties are recognizing software patents...

    • Software patents do exist, so not recognizing them would be a sign of insanity. And unless they are unconstitutional, it's not the court's job to decide whether they should exist.

  • Mueller said they were gonna get that money. The judge must have gotten it wrong.
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @07:48PM (#36859734)
    I'm ready to kill all software patents. Does Android compete with Oracle? (No, Oracle doesn't market phones or tablets and never will.) Does Android compete with Microsoft. (Not really.) Does Android compete with Apple. (No, if you want an iPhone you're not going to buy an Android phone and vice versa.) Did anybody other than Google put in the effort to create Android and deserve the rewards for doing so? (No, they just want to collect money for doing nothing more than filing a patents that they don't even use in this market.)

    Who loses when all of these patents are enforced. (We, the public, do - Big Time!)
    • I believe you meant killall -9 software patents.
    • by ccguy (1116865)

      Does Android compete with Apple. (No, if you want an iPhone you're not going to buy an Android phone and vice versa.)

      Too much of a stretch, isn't it? Of course one brand of phones competes with the other.

    • [1] Did anybody other than Google put in the effort to create Android [2] and deserve the rewards for doing so?

      [1] By definition, yes. Someone spent time and effort creating an idea, a technique, a widget, whatever. If they hadn't, there would have been nothing to patent. That idea/technique/widget was then used by Google who could build Android faster, cheaper, easier, more useful, because they didn't have to both identify the problem and then think of a solution to it themselves. So, yes, someone other than Google put in [some of] the effort to create [some of what became] Android.

      Actually, massive numbers of peop

      • by protektor (63514)

        You sure that it is impossible that no one else around the time would have or did come up with the same ideas? JIT systems are definitely not a new idea. They have been used in games for a very long time. Look at Infocom and SCUMM (Lucas Arts) games. They used basically JIT. I know that when I was in college back in the 1980's in class we talked several times about JIT and how they would work and how it could be done. The problem back then was getting it adopted not the technical issues. No two computer mak

      • by LBU.Zorro (585180)

        [1] By definition, yes. Someone spent time and effort creating an idea, a technique, a widget, whatever. If they hadn't, there would have been nothing to patent. That idea/technique/widget was then used by Google who could build Android faster, cheaper, easier, more useful, because they didn't have to both identify the problem and then think of a solution to it themselves. So, yes, someone other than Google put in [some of] the effort to create [some of what became] Android.

        Sorry but that's really not the case. You're making an assumption that just isn't true when it comes to software development - people never reuse idea/techniques/widgets from patents because there aren't any idea/techniques/widgets in patents, only claims.

        Patenting idea/technique/widget X does not mean you've helped anyone. I have my name on several patents myself and have waded through many other patents (software and hardware), what you actually have are a series of claims and that's what you infringe - t

    • by JAlexoi (1085785) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @09:21PM (#36860108) Homepage

      Does Android compete with Oracle? (No, Oracle doesn't market phones or tablets and never will.)

      Oracle licenses Java ME to phone manufacturers and Android is destroying that revenue. Though in a good sense, because Java ME should be killed off.

    • by Myopic (18616)

      Does Android compete with Apple. (No, if you want an iPhone you're not going to buy an Android phone and vice versa.)

      Whoa. That is an amazingly narrow definition of "compete". So, if Android doesn't compete with Apple's iOS, could you give an example of what Android does compete with?

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      Does Android compete with Oracle? (No, Oracle doesn't market phones or tablets and never will.)

      Oracle markets Java ME, which must be licensed by phone manufacturers, for money.

      Does Android compete with Microsoft. (Not really.)

      Microsoft makes Windows Phone 7. It also has a couple of different flavors of Windows designed for embedded systems, and I see an awful lot of device manufacturers considering Android for those these days (the Barnes & Noble Nook line, for example).

      Does Android compete with Apple. (No, if you want an iPhone you're not going to buy an Android phone and vice versa.)

      Buh? You might as well ask "does Ford compete with Chevy" and conclude that it does not, because once you own a Chevy you're not likely to buy a Ford and vice versa. Competition

    • You seem to be confused this is not a case of software patents (at least not primarily, like apple-htc for example). I mean google did not use "the principles behind java". It did not use a new version of the language, it does not use different opcodes, it does not ... Google uses Java, verbatim, Google uses the binary format of java, verbatim (yes they package it *slightly* differently), Google uses the sun jvm (a secondary derivative, but that, too, is illegal), ... You use the very same development tools

      • by LBU.Zorro (585180)

        Er?

        Dalvik bytecodes are not sun bytecodes - they don't work, at all. And I suspect you're misunderstanding what verbatim means - because it certainly doesn't mean 'slightly different'.

        Dalvik was written anew, not developed from a sun JVM. Although how clean-room this is as it was written is to be decided in the courts - and last I'd heard Oracle's contention that this was copied has been mostly shot down, hence the patent claims being the most talked about currently.

        "Java is not public domain, and anything

    • Kill all patents.

      But understand that this will not happen, because patents depend on government, government is the issuer of patents, governments wants monopolies, thus government wants patents. Government wants to have franchises, monopolies, it hates competition and it destroys it everywhere it sees it, and government likes to control things, to be involved into everything in the economy, where it clearly does not belong at all.

      So that's why patents will not be killed, though all patents need to be killed

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@PARISlynx.bc.ca minus city> on Saturday July 23, 2011 @08:12PM (#36859816) Journal
    I am inclined to think that if Oracle wins this, then there are going to be a lot of other places that are going to end being afraid of utilizing Java in the future... which could spell the effective end of Java as a mainstream programming language (although it obviously wouldn't die completely), which can't possibly be good for oracle.
    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      Well, is Oracle making any money off Java? Far as I know they're not making a cent from it. All versions of java are open to use.

      If they get a few billion (which they had hoped for) from Google it'll really pay its rent. That said, I do see Oracle killing off this language due to being bad money hungry people indeed, and I hope someone will fork it because , well, it was a clever idea.

      • You do realize most of the products Oracle sells rely on Java, right? That's the entire reason they didn't want it going to IBM. They are more likely to kill of their database than Java.
        • by PCM2 (4486)

          You do realize most of the products Oracle sells rely on Java, right? That's the entire reason they didn't want it going to IBM.

          Oracle didn't block the sale to IBM. Sun's talks with IBM broke down, IBM walked away from the table, and Oracle swooped in.

      • by Compaqt (1758360)

        No, Sun made upwards of $100 million per year licensing Java to the mobile phone industry.

        http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20013549-264.html [cnet.com]

        Java was free on the desktop, but not on mobile.

        Since Android was going to to be a unifying OS for all manufacturers, dropping J2ME, $100 million is an eminently reasonable figure for licensing Java to Google.

      • by tibman (623933)

        I doubt it could be forked. That's what Google tried to do and some parts of the implementation are patented. Microsoft forked with C# but had to get some kind of Sun approval after the fact.

    • Yep. They're cashing in their board position for some cash now.

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)
      Their community relations are the worst out of all corporations. I don't know what is their standing in the DBA community, but in Java community Oracle is definitely not loved... The Apache issue has had a really big impact on their image, since ASF is one of the biggest Java community hubs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      What? Where did that leap in logic come from? Sun had specific terms around using Java in embedded applications. It appears Google realized that, but perhaps felt by using Dalvik rather than a Sun JRE, they would be avoiding that.

      Most mainstream Java programming, involves server-side applications. The outcome of this trial should have no bearing whatsoever on those mainstream uses of Java. At all.

      If Java's mainstream appeal will be diminished by anything, it's the rise of alternatives (e.g., ruby, python, c

    • I don't see why would that be the case. You don't get sued by using Java that comes from Sun/Oracle, or a certified compatible implementation, which is what the vast majority of people are doing. Especially in areas where Java is dominant or at least popular today - big enterprise apps and web apps - this lawsuit has no relevance at all.

      Sure, for the use of Java in a mobile device, you'd have to pay (though that only applies to device manufacturer, not e.g. app developers). I don't know how much Oracle asks

    • by Compaqt (1758360)

      >I am inclined to think that if Oracle wins this, then there are going to be a lot of other places that are going to end being afraid of utilizing Java in the future

      And which ones would those be? Mobile and embedded apps? The licensing scheme for Java was always that the desktop is free, embedded/mobile is not.

      What that means is your average 2-man programming shop can come up with nifty Java CRUD apps for free. Your average multinational corp that wants to produce 100,000 phones has to pay a fee.

      Read the

    • This trial doesn't matter either way, as it's going to be appealed by whomever loses. This judge is giving both sides ample ammunition for appeal. Frankly, this trial is a total waste of time, money, and effort. The appeals court is going to grant the loser a new trial, anyway.

      Some of the decisions this judge made are just jaw-droppingly bad.

  • Seriously, at this point they'd probably be better off writing everything for Mono or another CLR clone - it's not like Microsoft isn't already asserting patent claims.
    • by scorp1us (235526)

      I'll bite. Everyone just use Qt. Free, portable, open source. With QML, no C++ is needed.

      • With QML, no C++ is needed.

        QML is a markup language, embedding a subset of JavaScript for things like data bindings. My impression was that it doesn't give you access to all features of Qt - e.g. if you need to write your own custom control, or even for a lot of model code (DB access etc).

  • I wonder what the implications would be if Google were to license JME (Java mobile edition) from Oracle and replace Dalvik with the standard JVM. This would bring Android into compliance with Oracle's license. All that would be needed is for Android to implement a loader to convert the Android APK into standard java bytecode to run them. This would also allow standard java class files (or .jar) files to be executed as well. The Android API could remain as a compatibility layer on top of the JVM. The origina

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

Working...