Oracle Denied Bid To Seek Billions From Google In Java Lawsuit


Oracle won't be allowed to claim the billions of dollars in damages the company has sought in its patent infringement lawsuit against Google.

Friday U.S. District Judge William Alsup rejected Oracle's claim that Google's use of Java in the Android mobile operating system caused damages between $1.4 billion and $6.1 billion, according to published reports by Bloomberg and the San Jose Mercury News.

Instead, the judge suggested using $100 million as a starting point for calculating damages. That's the amount Sun Microsystems offered to charge Google for a Java license in 2006, an offer Google rejected. Oracle acquired Sun and the Java technology -- including the related patents -- last year for $7.3 billion.

Alsup said an expert hired by Oracle to come up with the multibillion-dollar damage estimates used too broad of an estimate of Android's value, rather than the value specifically related to the patents.

But the judge said Oracle could present more evidence to revise its damage claim. What's more, the judge's 16-page ruling included the comment that if a jury determines that Oracle's patents were infringed, there is "a substantial possibility" that Google could be ordered to permanently stop selling Android, according to the Bloomberg report.

The judge also rejected Google's argument that advertising revenue it earns in relation to Android should not be considered part of the value of the software at issue, the Mercury News story said. That ruling ultimately could increase the amount of any damages should a jury find in Oracle's favor.

Neither company has commented on the judge's decisions. The trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 31.

Oracle sued Google last August claiming that Google's use of Java in Android violated seven Java patents Oracle owns.

In another hearing last week a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Oracle lawyers could question Google CEO Larry Page for a two-hour deposition prior to the trial.