Feb 19th, 2012

Finally, some really good news from the lawsuit front. Oracle’s case against Google has been touted by many as the lawsuit that could effectively put an end to the platform. I hated that talk, but any point I’d raise would more often than not be brushed aside in any debate because of my “fanboyism”.

I’ve got to admit, though, that the case did worry me a bit. The amount Oracle first demanded, a huge $6.1 billion, did make me nervy. But fortunately enough one by one Oracle’s claims are being brushed aside and the company’s demands now stand at under a quarter of a billion.

If you’ve got the time, do read the post over at Groklaw detailing the entire episode. What really stood out for me, and this is what most of the cynics of the value Oracle put on the case in the first place, is that Oracle’s damages expert Dr. Ian Cockburn has repeatedly overstated the value of these patents. Oracle bought Sun, outright with all of their assets, for $7.4 billion. So that means they valued 5 out of some 500 Java patents plus everything else Sun owned at over 80% of the Sun’s value.

As we’ve grown so accustomed to, the tech “journalists” absolutely loved the opportunity to show Android as possibly meeting its doom. Had they put the slightest of thought into the episode, they’d know Oracle never stood a chance to get as much. Heck, Dr. Cockburn’s third revision of the value (yes, third, strange an expert gets it wrong so often) stands in the $110-225 million range, and Google still claims they’re asking for too much.

Dr. Cockburn’s third report begins, as his second report did, with the negotiations Google and Sun conducted in early 2006 for a technology partnership to develop a mobile smartphone platform. As before, Dr. Cockburn uses as his monetary starting point Sun’s initial February 2006 demand, which he calculates at $98.7 million, rather than Sun’s final demand in April 2006 of $28 million.”

Groklaw tends to agree with Google’s stance, and again I’d suggest you to read their post if you’ve got the time.