Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/23/settlement_talks_stalled_for_now/

Oracle looking for $1.16bn, not $2.2bn, in Java patent case

Stop whining Google, we're not looking for that much money

By Brid-Aine Parnell

Posted in Law, 23rd September 2011 09:25 GMT

Oracle is looking for around $1.16bn in damages from Google over the Java patent throwdown, and not the $2.2bn the Chocolate Factory has been whinging about.

Google had said that an estimation of damages submitted to the court by Oracle's damages expert Iain Cockburn, a Boston University business professor, showed that Oracle wanted more than $2.2bn. The web giant was trying to get parts of the report excluded from the case.

But Oracle's lawyer Steven Holtzman told the court yesterday that Google had "mischaracterised" the report:

Google’s complaints about Prof. Cockburn’s hypothetical-license analyses are meritless.

Holtzman's letter said Cockburn's report showed patent damages of up to $202m and copyright infringement of up to $960m.

Meanwhile, the two Larrys might get to bunk off any further settlement talks in the case.

After a second day of negotiation between CEOs Larry Page and Larry Ellison – backed up by some of their executive posse – the tech heavyweights have yet to come to some sort of arrangement over Google's use of Java Standard Edition in its Android OS.

Oracle got its hands on a whole bunch of Java patents when it bought Sun Microsystems and promptly sued the Chocolate Factory in the US for $2.6bn.

The Californian court forced the two Larrys into head-to-head talks this week on Monday and Wednesday, hoping to get the case sorted out, but is now resigned to a phone call deciding whether the talks will go on or not and whether the chiefs will be in attendance.

A civil order from the court stated:

Lead counsel shall contact the courtroom deputy... to schedule a call tomorrow regarding when further discussions will take place and whether the further attendance of Mr Ellison and Mr Page will be required.

Andrew Van Luchene, founder of Leviathan Entertainment, a social gaming invention think tank, told The Reg that general counsels would probably have a much easier time coming to a settlement without the CEOs present.

"It's really a legal thing at this point," he said.

Luchene, who also owns patents licensed to Groupon and Apple, added that Google had made up its mind some time ago that patents weren't important to it, and that decision was coming back to haunt the web giant with Android.

"The interesting thing about this case is that Google really could have gotten the licence [from Oracle] some time ago for $100m or something like that... but they didn't do that," he said.

However, Luchene doesn't think any amount of litigation over the little green OS could shut down the Android ecosystem without inviting the ire of the Federal Trade Commission over what would then be a Jesus mobe monopoly. ®