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Oracle seeks 'billions' with Google Android suit

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Oracle is seeking "billions of dollars" in damages from Google with its sweeping copyright and patent infringement lawsuit over the use of Java on Android.

According to an Oracle court filing released on Thursday, Google attempted to hide the scope of Oracle's damages claims and other related information from public view. But Larry Ellison and company want this out in the open. "Oracle’s damages claims in this case are in the billions of dollars,” the Oracle filing reads, and these claims, it says, are "based on both accepted methodology and a wealth of concrete evidence.”

The company's damage claims are backed by Oracle expert testimony, but according to Oracle's court filing, Google opposed the testimony, claiming that it included "all Google advertising revenue from all Android devices and all harm from fragmentation of Java" and that it argued Google should pay Oracle a 50 per cent royalty rate on Android devices.

"Oracle’s ‘methodology’ for calculating damages is based on fundamental legal errors and improperly inflates their estimates,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement.

Oracle filed its suit this past August, accusing Google of deliberately infringing various Java-related patents and copyrights that Oracle acquired with its purchase of Sun Microsystems. The suit waved seven patents, claiming infringement by Android's Dalvik virtual machine and the Android software development kit and other parts of the OS.

In November, Oracle court documents claimed that Android's class libraries and documentation infringe on its copyrights and that roughly one-third of Android's API packages are "derivative" of Oracle's copyrighted Java API packages. To buttres its argument it supplied six pages of Google Android code that it said were "directly copied" from copyrighted Oracle material.

Google challenged the legitimacy of that evidence, claiming Oracle had redacted and deleted material from those six page of code.

Java is open source, but not completely open source. Sunacle's licensing includes "field of use" (FOU) restrictions that — among other things — prevent the closed source Java Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs) from running on mobile devices. Oracle may end up arguing that Google has violated the FOU restrictions. Oracle has also accused Google of violating copyrights on Java documentation.

Separately, Oracle is claiming infringement of seven of its patents. ®

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