The next round of Oracle’s copyright lawsuit against Google over Android will begin on May 9, and we can expect to be treated to a lot of “bombshells” about Google’s Android business, sources close to the situation have told Business Insider.
Oracle is hoping to convince a jury to make Google pay Oracle billions of dollars in damages.
On the other hand, Google may be able to convince the jury that the Oracle Java software it used in Android falls within the “fair use” provision of copyright law. And that would mean Google has the right to use it for free and will owe Oracle nothing.
Oracle’s lawsuit which was broken up into different parts, a trial on copyright, a trial on patents and a trial on damages.
In the copyright trial so far, a jury first determined that Google did copy the code. But the judge basically overruled the jury’s decision and handed the win to Google. Then an appeals court sided with Oracle and the Supreme Court refused to take the case, leaving Oracle’s appellate win standing.
Now, a new jury will decide whether Google had the right to use the code for free. If they decide the answer is “no,” then they will have to figure out how much Google owes Oracle. Oracle originally sued Google for $6 billion in 2011, claiming that Android illegally copied part of Java, but at that the judge rejected the amount as being ridiculously too high.
So Oracle can be expected to go for the jugular to convince the world that it is owed a lot in damages.
To do that, we can expect Oracle to reveal a lot of juicy new details about Google’s Android business, our sources believe.
This could include stories about how Google worried about the iPhone and felt it needed do something to own the mobile market, or it would find itself out of business in a decade, sources tell us. Remember, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs felt stabbed in the back by Android, since Google’s then-CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple’s board.
On the other hand, Google has also been petitioning the court not to allow Oracle to reveal confidential details about its Android business. So we’ll see.
Even leading up to this trial, Oracle has been revealing secretive parts of Google’s Android business. In January, Oracle revealed that Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to keep Google search on the iPhone.
Oracle attorneys, using their own analysts, said they thought Android had generated $31 billion for Google, with $22 billion in profit.
The irony is that Oracle didn’t own Java at the time Google created Android back in 2008 — Sun Microsystems did. Oracle bought Sun, and Java with it, for $7.4 billion in 2009. (Really more like $5.4 billion if you subtract Sun’s cash on hand.)
That means Oracle originally wanted Google to pay Oracle more for violating Java’s copyright than Oracle paid for Sun in total!
Oracle says that it’s been maintaining, improving, and investing in Java ever since, so it deserves money for the thwarted mobile business Java may have had, which, it will argue, was killed by Android.
Meanwhile, this suit has put a big rift between the two companies. Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison once said, “I think what they did was — was — absolutely evil.”
And Google cofounder Larry Page once said that this lawsuit shows that Oracle is a roadblock to faster progress in the tech industry. “Money is more important to them” than cooperation, he said.
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