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Copyright Infringement Case – Oracle vs Google

Oracle is seeking hefty damages “in billions of dollars” from Google Inc. over the patent lawsuit, according to the court filing. Oracle had sued Google last year, claiming that Google’s Android operating system has violated Oracle’s Java patents. Oracle is also pursuing to stop further sales of these Android products and quoted that it was willful and deliberate infringement of seven of their patents and copyrights related to Java Technologies which they acquired from SUN Microsystems in January 2010. Oracle also alleged that the Android platform has explicitly copied elements of Oracle’s patented Java’s API packages.

In a document filed in court by Oracle few days back, Oracle accused the web search company of trying to conceal the fact that Oracle’s damage claims in this case were in the billions though Google has denied any of these wrongdoings. Oracle has asked the court to make some of the information public. Google representatives did not immediately respond for any request to comment. This legal battle has taken people by surprise and has caused a rift between CEOs Larry Ellison and Eric Schmidt. When Schmidt was working for Sun, the company developed thousands of patents of freely shared technologies and became its firm supporter. They started offering versions of its Java under open source licenses. Schmidt joined Google and brought that philosophy to the web search company assuming to have rights to use Java and never announced the licensing deal.

Google’s chief Larry Page made the decision to acquire Android Inc. and thereby launch and develop the platform that Oracle now contends of infringement of its copyrighted patents. Oracle also wants to depose three more people apart from the previous ten allowed in the court, according to the filing. They include former Google employees Dipchand Nishar, Bob Lee and the Android engineer Tim Lindholm. Google has criticized Oracle’s demands quoting that the case’s first deposition did not take place until April this year and at the end of the case’s discovery period, Oracle wants to cram more and more people. Google’s attorneys said that there was no need to depose Larry Page and doing so would only mean harassing the most senior executive of a company of such stature paving way to redundant testimony to Google.

Google also made a filing earlier this week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Google’s attorney has petitioned to eliminate the damage estimates calculated by Oracle.A pivotal hearing in this case is said to be set for July 21. Judge William Alsup has asked both the sides to give their opinions on whether the case should be stayed pending a number of re-examinations of Oracle’s patents. He also said that it appears possible that Google might know Android infringing Oracle’s patents. Abandoning the negotiations to obtain a license for Android with Sun Microsystems (before Oracle acquiring Sun) has proved it as one of the most unpleasant inaccuracies in a 13-year history of Google.

Google will be in big trouble if Oracle manages to win. If Google is forced to pay a royalty and compensate past damages, it would be a whooping figure of $2.6 Billion as Oracle has cited in one of the reports. And who knows, Android might not be able to stay free too.