Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Google to Oracle: If You Win This Patent Suit, We’ll Cut You in on Android

Google has apparently suggested cutting Oracle in on the action with a percentage of revenue it generates from its Android mobile operating system, in the event that it loses its patent and copyright lawsuit with the enterprise software giant. Oracle, however, has rejected the suggestion, court filings show.

Details of the back-and-forth emerged in a filing made by lawyers for the two companies, proposing ways to speed up the trial process. (See the filing embedded below.) Their trial over Java — of which Oracle became owner when it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 — is set to begin in less than three weeks.

There are basically two patents left at issue in the case, and Google proposed to forgo fighting Oracle in the event it won and proved infringement. Oracle said the $2.8 million figure Google offered — $2.72 million for one patent, and $80,000 for the other, for past damages — was too low: “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 company says in the filing.

Google also offered Oracle a 0.5 percent of Android revenue through the end of this year, when one of the disputed patents expires; and 0.015 percent of revenue for the other, when it expires in 2018. “Under such a stipulation, Oracle would be assured a recovery without proving damages, but could not obtain an injunction based on these patents,” Google says in the filing.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work