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Oracle's Java Claims Now Down To $230 Million 84

jfruh writes "Hey, remember when Oracle decided to sue Google over claims that Android violated Oracle's Java patents and copyrights? How's that working out? Not so well, it seems! Oracle has been forced to take many of its patents out of the lawsuit due to lack of evidence, and the damages in play now are down to a little less than 4 percent of Oracle's original $6.1 billion claims."
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Oracle's Java Claims Now Down To $230 Million

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  • Poor Larry (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:51AM (#39111521)
    That won't even pay for the mooring fees, let alone an entire yacht!
  • Abuse of process (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mehrotra.akash ( 1539473 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:57AM (#39111629)

    the damages in play now are down to a little less than 4 percent of Oracle's original $6.1 billion claims."

    At this point, they should just declare that Oracle abused the process and grant Google victory over the remaining patents as compensation/penalty

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:11PM (#39111837) Journal
      Frankly, both Oracle and Google should just stop fighting immediately and dedicate their effort to reverse-engineering this judge's apparently superb garbage-collecting algorithms...
    • Re:Abuse of process (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gideon Wells ( 1412675 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:27PM (#39112135)

      I'll play the Devil's Advocate card here.

      Oracle may have been overzealous by a far degree. The process this is taking is likely very stupid. Many have been thrown out. However, that doesn't mean the last few aren't legally sound under the current system/process. Maybe they aren't. The most obvious offenders were withdrawn. It is now time to test the sturdier ones to the law process.

      Who knows, maybe Oracle will loose and set a useful precedent for the Googles?

      • by mehrotra.akash ( 1539473 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @01:02PM (#39112713)
        What I dont get is how come there isnt a penalty for pursuing a lawsuit where 96% of it is thrown out?
        If Oracle had brought a similar lawsuit on a small firm instead of Google, they(the small firm) would have probably been shut down just because of the costs of the suit
      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        Even if there is a small kernel of truth somewhere in there, there is a line between merely overzealous and a big fat lie. The best liars always build on a small kernel of truth to make it believable. If they are over that line, they deserve to lose on the whole thing so they won't do it again.

        The last thing we need is a bunch of plaintiffs trying to turn a paper cut into a life altering event worth millions in compensation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Unfortunately I don't think "stating ridiculously huge amounts" has ever been a disqualifier in the US legal system...

  • by backslashdot ( 95548 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:00PM (#39111685)

    At least they aren't going the route of apple which last week, for example, patented an existing 3D eye tracking based icon display system of which there is a demo by someone else in youtube since 2009.

    Would the patent office bother to find out? I dont think so.
    Don't believe me, compare it yourself: []

    versus []

    If anyone has any connection to the US patent office they should be made aware.

    • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:15PM (#39111925)

      The patent office rubber stamps whatever comes in, and lets the courts sort it out.

    • In a quick scan of the patentlyapple article I didn't see a link to the application or an application number given. did it say when the app was filed? was it more than a year after the youtube demo? was there other, earlier published prior art, for the youtube product or someone else?

      That is the info that would be relevant to the USPTO.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:23PM (#39112063) Journal
      Apple's behavior is perfectly fair:

      After the apotheosis of Jobs, the reality distortion field was so intensified that space and time itself operate differently within the confines of his mortuary temple. Anybody within the sanctum operates as an innovator-outside-of-time. They may appear to release specific developments at specific points in the pitifully linear 'history' experienced by the unenlightened; but they(how this works is a Holy Mystery; but it is so)are simultaneously are perpetually innovating beyond time, have already invented all technologies worth inventing, and will invent all technologies worth inventing.

      Human history is, in fact, simply a mortal's-eye-view of the bestowal of gifts of innovation on various Chosen at various times. The patent office is simply recognizing this.
    • On February 10, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a hot 3D eye-tracking based interface that will be used for gaming, digital photography and videography, biometrics and surveillance applications while being an OS feature option for iOS devices and Apple's iMac.

      According to the article, it is a publication of a patent application (PGPUB). The actual publication number is US 2012/0036433 A1. It probably hasn't even been examined yet.

      Please inform yourself of the basics of the US patent system before posting stuff like this.

  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:01PM (#39111687)
    That's the way lawyers and lawsuits work, especially in the Fantasyland of "Intellectual Property" law -- throw anything and everything at the wall, see what sticks. Rinse, repeat.
  • Business Model (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EliSowash ( 2532508 ) <{eli} {at} {}> on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:05PM (#39111749)
    Is it just me, or have lawsuits become a core business model of technology megacorps?
    • Lawsuits will always be a business model wherever the law provides a cause of action []. To take the legal system out of the equation, you have to remove the cause of action. Legislators create causes of action, and U.S. legislators have been captured [] by rent-seeking monopolists []. The only way I can see to clean this up is to end the capture [].
    • yep.

      "you see more buzzards where it's green and lush than you do in the desert"

    • by Creepy ( 93888 )

      Personally, I don't think Oracle has a chance of winning because Android uses java on the back-end and it is just a reimplementation of the Java SDK targeting smartphones. However, I am starting to think the purpose of this lawsuit is less about money on the front end and more about locking Android onto java backend by threatening Google with patent infringement if they change the backend to not be java based. The reason I think this is because rumor has it that Oracle has massively jacked up the cost of bu

      • The lawsuit makes sense if Oracles wants to stop Google from distributing Android, if they want to stop Google from using Java (hey, that would be a great outcome), or if they want to get money from every Android device.

        Their claims simply don't require that Google uses Java. Unless they come with a complete turn around at the settlement.

  • by mounthood ( 993037 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:14PM (#39111899)

    Nobody cares about the money. Can Android be stopped because of this?

    Groklaw's latest: []

    Oracle should think long and hard about whether it wants to persist on the issue of patent infringement or, for that matter, any infringement at all. Those failed settlement discussions probably look a lot more attractive to Oracle right now.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Nobody cares about the money. Can Android be stopped because of this?

      No, because Oracle's not that stupid, and Android is too far entrenched.

      Remember, Java's main revenue stream is all the J2ME licenses that everyone pays. Given that most phones sold today are non-smartphones, that means every phone sold that way pays Oracle for the J2ME runtime.

      All Oracle is seeing here that Android should pay up as well, and to negotiate with Google on what rates it should be.

      Though, there may soon be an Android LA (simil

      • J2ME != JESE (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        the sort of Java that is in Android is not J2ME at all and is more like J2SE. The licensing cost for J2SE is significantly more expensive per unit than J2ME. It could be a deal breaker for some Android phones to have to shell out such a large royalty.

        • Sorry, but you can download J2SE for free, and even distribute it embebed on your installer if you follow some simple requirements.

      • Though, there may soon be an Android LA (similar to MPEG-LA) to handle all the patent licensing stuff - pay a per-unit royalty to A-LA and get access to Microsoft's, Apple's, Oracle's, and the rest of the ETSI's patents.

        Heck, I'm surprised there's no ETSI-LA for handling all the FRAND patent licensing stuff instead of having to negotiate individually with Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung, Microsoft, Motorola, and all the other patent licenseholders.

        That stuff generally only happens when the standard is created by a group of companies who want the patents to read on it so that they, themselves, can collect royalties from everybody else. If the standard (or technology) is maintained by a third party (like Google), creating a patent pool is like putting up a billboard saying, "hey Google, here is a list of specific patents you can set your army of lawyers and engineers to work invalidating or designing around." And then most of them get invalidated and t

  • by vikingpower ( 768921 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:17PM (#39111953) Homepage Journal
    One day Oracle shall beg Google to be granted the right to pay. On that day, the world shall come crashing down in shards of bytecode, and all the Java geeks shall be confounded.
  • fees incurred for refuting the claims, and perhaps some penalties (and so on). That should take (a) chunk(s) out of what's left.
  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:31PM (#39112203) Journal
    - is that you can't get upset when someone uses them universally.
    • The litigation isn't about the language as you can't patent a language. It's about the VM patents, namely just-in-time compilation, and mixing compiled and interpreted code.

  • What are the total legal fees so far and projected by Oracle? Personally I hope Google countersues and gets 232 Million plus pay Google's legal bill as well.
  • by WOOFYGOOFY ( 1334993 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:58PM (#39112635)
    Seriously does anyone know if they considered it at all and if they did why they chose not to? Sun and Google seems to me to have been a natural pairing. Certainly all the absolutely first rate R and D that went on at Sun would have fit into Google's culture. So why didn't they?
    • by Glock27 ( 446276 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @01:18PM (#39112945)

      An excellent point. Google should have, and it was a strategic mistake not to do it. Google uses Java quite a bit internally, it would have not only insulated Google from any Java hijinks, but Google would have (I believe) been a far better steward of Java than Oracle. Google still could have spun off Sun's hardware division, which had not interest for it.

      In fact, Java could finally have become what it should have to begin with, and been the premier client-side language for web development, instead of Dart.

      Oracle buying Sun was a real inflection point in IT history.

      • by Karzz1 ( 306015 )
        Google is also heavily invested in MySQL internally. Just another reason this would have made a good pairing.
    • Because their head has been up their ass for some time now. I hate to say it, I'm a Google fanboy after all, but Google has jumped the shark on a lot of stuff. There is probably a severe culture problem or some type of power jostle that people just don't see, but something is going on.

    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      I rather doubt that regulators would have allowed it.

      Yes, it would have made sense, much like it made sense to AT&T to attempt to purchase T-Mobile.

      It makes sense for the company who wants to buy it, but it doesn't make sense to the regulators trying to prevent monopolies.

      Then again, the regulators did allow Oracle to buy it.

  • Afaict if oracle wins on some patents they will likely be able to get an injunction against google using stuff covered by those patents. If google can't work around them (that is find a way to do what they need to do without stepping on the patent) they will basically be forced to come to some licensing agreement with oracle and since oracle will have them over a barrel said agreement is unlikely to be cheap.

    • If google can't work around them ...

      The number of patents involved has reduced massively. More than that, most of those that stayed have lost most of their most important features. Frankly, the collapse in this case is pathetic and very very worrying for Oracle. You would assume that they would be able to come up with some solid patents relevant to almost any VM which runs Java and that this would be the fundamental basis of their defence against Motorola's various database related patents. They have failed to do so at the point where the

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dear Oracle,

    Don't be stupid. Android is keeping Java relavent in the mobile space. If you were to _partner_ with Google instead of suing them, you could open make Android an official part of the JCP. Oracle could get an instant foothold into expanding mobile space, thus beating Microsoft and IBM simultaneously. In addition to a new revenue stream, you would get to participate in one of my favoriate activities: suing Apple. You need a foothold in the mobile space, while Google needs your patent portfolio and

  • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @01:42PM (#39113313)

    Yes, we saw the same with SCO, Microsoft, and many more. Sadly the plot line reads the same in every script.

    Accuser: "They owe us a billion trillion dollars!"

    Defendant: "Um, show us what we did wrong."

    Accuser: "You stole all the sugar from our candy, and used it in your candy!"

    Defendant: "We purchased our own sugar, here's the receipt."

    Accuser: "Um.. You owe us one thousand dollars!"

    Defendant: "What did we do wrong?"

    Accuser: "We were going to buy that sugar, and you cut in line."

    So the next act that plays out is going to be whether a jury thinks that taking cuts in line is worth paying the accuser any money for. With SCO, it did not turn out so well. With Microsoft and Apple it has paid off about 1% of the time. Lets hope the court and jury follow the norm and tell Oracle to grow up and act like a big business now.

    • Actually, one facet of the case is overtly weirder than any fantasy scenario you could cook up (pun intended):

      Accuser: "You owe us $100,000"

      Defendant: "Now what did we do?"

      Accuser: " We patented making candy with sugar. You're making candy with sugar. That's one violation. Furthermore, our candy cookbook says you're not allowed to use our recipes to create any candy which would compete with our candy, [], because you'd be violating our patent, and we withdraw your permission to read our cookbook if you violate

      • by s.petry ( 762400 )

        Thanks for the additional points. Honestly, there have been some resources posted regarding the EULAs of several companies that try to do the same thing. "We own any idea you come up with while using our product, because it's obviously our product that gave you the idea. You simply are not capable of having ideas without our stuff." AFAIK, Oracle is the first to try and use this in court.

        As an acquaintance of mine says"Very odd times we live in." (instead of bitching about the irrational set of laws bei

  • Google should have that much under the couch cushions.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?