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Oracle/Google Lawsuit Analysis

Oracle Blaming Google for Java Fragmentation?

Jessica Thornsby

Florian Mueller has blogged his thoughts on the publicly available documents.

Florian Mueller has posted a blog over at FOSS Patents, where he analyses the ‘Google Filing Re. Oracle Damages’ document that has recently become public. According to Mueller, the document suggests that Oracle is demanding compensation for past infringements by Google, which he says “would in the worst case far exceed any money Google has made with Android so far — and would likely expect Google to pay even more going forward.”

Mueller has researched other publicly available documents related to the lawsuit, and has found that Google are trying to prevent “Oracle’s expert Iain Cockburn” from sharing his damages report, stating that “allowing him to testify about his conclusions to a jury would prejudice Google.” Google accuse Cockburn of legal errors and call his report “unreliable, misleading, and inappropriate for presentation to the jury.” Iain Cockburn’s damages report is not available to the public, although Mueller writes that the report is exclusively about damages for past infringement.

Google’s comments also suggest that Cockburn is claiming Google are responsible for contributing to the fragmentation of Java, and this should be taken into account regarding damages:

“Most audaciously, Cockburn tries to import into his royalty base the alleged harm Sun and Oracle would have suffered from so-called ‘fragmentation’ of Java into myriad competing standards, opining that Oracle’s damages from the Android software includes theoretical downstream harm to a wholly different Oracle product,” say Google.

Mueller concludes that if Oracle does succeed in obtaining an injunction against Google, the search giant will be forced to pay both a significant per-copy royalty to Oracle, and formally recognise Oracle’s control over Java and modify its code in response to Oracle’s fragmentation complaints. He also questions whether Google could afford to continue to release Android for free, if Oracle’s lawsuit is successful.

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