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Google offers Oracle slice of Android profits for patents

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Google has proposed terms its on-going patent spat with Oracle over Java's contribution to Android by offering Ellison's crew a payment for past infractions and a miniscule slice of further revenues from the operating system, should Google be found to be in violation.

According to court papers (PDF) filed on Tuesday, Google is offering $2.72 million for infringements of Patent RE38104 and 0.5 per cent of future Android revenues. It estimates patent 6061520 is worth just $80,000 and 0.015 of any money gleaned from the operating system. In both cases the amount will be shaved to reflect the number of non-infringing handsets.

The payments will be short-lived in some cases. Google's lawyers point out that patent 6061520 expires in December of this year and Patent RE38104 will cease to be valid in 2018. As an additional inticement, Google will acknowledge the validity of Patent 6061520 and is suggesting cutting the court session from 12 hours to eight, and getting rid of juries to speed thing up, should the case come to trial.

Unsurprisingly Oracle's response was that the amount of damages was inappropriate – it's asking for $4.15 million and it wanted its day in court in front of a jury. It did say it was willing to consider shortening the trial sessions from 12 hours to eight, but insisted on having longer to discuss damages as it had expert testimony that was complex and detailed.

"Google also proposes that the trial be shortened by suggesting that Oracle accept patent damages that are lower than Oracle contends are appropriate, and waiving any right to seek injunctive relief for Google’s patent infringement. Oracle cannot agree to unilaterally give up its rights, on appeal and in this Court, to seek full redress for Google’s unlawful conduct," the papers read.

There's now a last chance to avoid a trial next month with a court-ordered conciliation meeting between Oracle's president Safra Catz and representatives from Google. If those fail then the court will finally begin next month. The latest filing suggest the talks are likely to fail, according to FOSS patent watcher Florian Mueller.

"I don't think Google realistically expected Oracle to accept this proposal," he told The Register. "The two patents that are still being asserted are unlikely to give Oracle the leverage it needs for a settlement on its terms. The copyright part of the case still poses considerable risk to Google." ®

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