Oracle to Google: Pay us $9.3bn for using Java in Android

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Oracle thinks it is due $9.3bn in damages from Google, mostly from profits the search company is claimed to have made from using Java in Android.

The tech giants are scheduled to duel again in May at a federal district court in San Francisco to settle a long-running feud over whether or not Google was covered by “fair use” when it copied 37 Java application programming interfaces to build Android, now the most widely-used mobile OS in the world.

In June last year, the Supreme Court denied Google’s appealagainst an Appeals Court decision that overturned an earlier ruling that APIs aren’t covered by copyright law.

But while Oracle had previously sought damages of $1bn, a new court submission from Oracle shows the company is now seeking almost 10 times that amount.

The documents, obtained by PC World, reflect an opinion by James Malackowski, a damages expert hired by Oracle, who values the firm’s losses at $9.3bn.

The figure comprises $475m in “actual damages”, such as licensing revenues Oracle could have earned in the absence of Android, and $8.8bn in “profits apportioned to infringed Java copyrights”, which include Google’s revenues from mobile search, app sales through Google Play, and Nexus device sales.

Oracle filed its original case in 2010 when Android was not the dominant mobile platform. The new figure reflects Android’s growth in the intervening years.

The expert’s opinion factors in the proposition that Google’s alleged infringement on Java copyrights were critical to the launch of Android, and in ensuring search revenue from mobile advertising. Additionally, had Google not infringed Java copyrights, there may have been more licensing revenue from Java.

Google hit back at the huge damages estimate in a filing last week, claiming that Oracle and Malackowski improperly equated the value of the 37 APIs with the total value of Android. Google has argued Malackowski’s analysis should be inadmissible.

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