A jury couldn’t decide on what the damages should be for Google’s use of Java in Android. Oracle — which has been locked into an infringement battle with Google for over half a decade now — seems to have a pretty good suggestion (pretty good in their eyes, anyway). The company is asking for $9.3 billion.
To be clear, Oracle doesn’t think their licenses are worth $9.3 billion — only $475 million of that number is what they feel they owe for direct infringements. The rest of the ridiculously bloated sum comes from Oracle’s belief that Google has made over $22 billion in profit from Android (through Google Play and developer fees, licensing fees and through advertising dollars generated from search and apps), and the related belief that they’re owed a vast percentage of that.
$9.3 billion wouldn’t break the bank for Google, but it’s a huge chunk of money we’re sure they’re not willing to part ways with. It’ll be up to the courts to decide whether that number is right, but it’s something Google will have a chance to argue as the lawsuit is going to retrial.
In the meantime, Google is keen on going forward with ways to break loose from Oracle. The company recently announced that they are planning to move to OpenJDK for Android development, an open source alternative to Java that Oracle can’t claim profit on. The change will come as part of Android N.