The six-year-long legal battle between Oracle and Google over unlicensed usage of Java in Android OS continues. After both companies were accused of intentionally selecting discreditable jury earlier this month, the latest update regarding this neverending case concerns actual damages Oracle is demanding from Google. Specifically, the Redwood City-based company wants Google to pay no less than $9.3 billion for using portions of the Java platform in the most popular mobile OS in the world. Basically, Oracle is claiming Google needs a license to do that and is guilty of infringement, Google is claiming its controversial application of certain parts of Java code is protected by the US doctrine of “fair use”, and the jury can’t decide in whose favor to rule since 2012 when the case originally went to trial. A new trial is therefore scheduled for May 9th and this latest estimation of damages comes from related court documents.
The estimate was given by an unnamed expert hired by Oracle and could still be reduced before the trial officially begins, but right now – it’s about 10 larger than what the company originally demanded from Google in 2012. Most of that figure – specifically $8.829 billion – pertains to profits apportioned to infringed copyrights while Oracle claims that its actual damages from Google’s infringement amount to an additional $475 million. Naturally, Google has hired its very own damages expert who will undoubtedly give a significantly smaller estimate, though it remains to be seen how small exactly.
While it’s still way too early to predict how long will the upcoming trial take to be resolved, we can guess that Google will pay about half of that $9.3 billion figure if it loses the case as that’s how juries tend to settle disputes in which damages estimates vary as greatly as they do in this scenario. Naturally, a potential settlement between the two could result in Google paying even less. In any case, we can be sure that Oracle’s claim won’t increase again in the future as the latest estimate takes all Android versions up to Marshmallow into account and as Google recently revealed, Android N and future iterations of its mobile OS will completely ditch Java.