April 24, 2014

Oracle Trying to get 50% of Android's ad Revenues

We first talked about the lawsuit between Google and Oracle a while back, to refresh your memory, Oracle after acquiring Sun Micro filed suit against Google saying that the search giant infringed on their Java property a total of seven times.  Back in Android’s beginning, Google decided to write their own Java machine, Dalvik to avoid licensing fees.  Indeed one of the reasons that Oracle bought Sun Micro was that they could bleed Google of some large amounts, as stated by past Sun employees who were part of the process of sale to Oracle.  Now the latest salvo in the ongoing court case has been fired at Google.  The target?  50% of their ad revenues on the Android mobile platform.  

E-Week Europe is reporting this morning that a lawyer hired by Oracle has suggested that the damages to be awarded to his client be based on the ad revenue Google has brought in.  A quote from the article:

Google’s legal eagles said Iain Cockburn, the Boston University professor hired by Oracle to calculate damages, is wrong to suggest Oracle deserves mobile ad sales Google gleaned from searches conducted on Android phones. Cockburn suggested Oracle seek a 50 percent royalty rate.

Google’s contention is that their revenue from ads is a completely separate entity that Oracle has no claim to, since it is not part of the copyright infringement suit in the fact that the suggested infringements have not generated said revenue. A parsing of words perhaps, but technically right. Of course the Dalvik machine powers Android, and that is the issue up for decision in the courts.

Opinion on the issue:

I continue to find it interesting abut how far Oracle is willing to go to try to get a piece of the pie that is Android. In this age of litigation between major companies, it is not surprising to see this going on.  However, this lawsuit I believe is about more than money, as I have stated before in various forums.  I believe this suit is rooted in the fact that when Oracle was first born, it sought to be what Android is right now, an interface to a much broader cloud based platform.  Oracle wanted every home to have a dumb terminal to their online mainframe, charging exorbitant fees to store everything.  Now, Google is doing exactly that, except for free, and making large amounts of coin on it.  I believe that Oracle, and specifically their CEO Larry Ellison, are on a bit of a vendetta against the company that actually did what they couldn’t, bring people successfully into a cloud architecture based service.

Well, the lawsuit will continue of course, we shall see where this goes.  It will be interesting to see if Oracle gets anything out of this except a black eye.

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