Is Oracle Wasting Its Time Fighting Google?

Oracle filed a lawsuit against Google for infringing of five Java patents allegedly being illegally used in Android. The database company is seeking a chunk of the increasing  revenue the open-source mobile OS is generating for Google, but those plans have taken a backseat.

Earlier this month we reported that Oracle has been permitted to use a seemingly incriminating email that suggests sources within Google were aware of foul play associated with this IP. Now it’s Oracle’s turn. The presiding judge threw out the $6.1 billion claim Oracle’s expert, Professor Iain Cockburn, proposed as a suitable compensation and set instead a much humbler $100 million as the “starting point.” Phandroid did the math, and concluded that 1/100th of all the Java patents awarded to Sun apparently add up to 80 percent of the firm’s value.

Oracle moved on, filing  a third and revised damages report. This one includes two damage estimates based on different valuation methods: based on the “independent significance” of the patents involved Google ends up owing upwards of 129.2 million, while the “group and value” take sets the sum between $52.4 million and $169 million.

In the first instance, Cockburn “purports to evaluate” the independent significance of the patents-in-suit and copyrights to Google.

In his “group and value” methodology, Cockburn asked five Oracle engineers “to identify all the mobile Java-related patents in Sun’s 2006 portfolio, separate those patents into categories, rank the categories by importance and then rate each patent’s value on a three-point scale,” Google said.

Oracle is not the first to go after Google in recent months. The latter is a very large enterprise with a relatively small patent portfolio, which resulted in dozens of lawsuits filed against them in 2011 alone. The response: Google’s IP shopping spree.