Friday, September 23, 2011

Does Oracle Want To Kill-Off Android By Injunction; Can It Succeed If It Does?

Oracle's CEO, Larry Ellison, is a close friend of Apple's former CEO, Steve Jobs, and he once said something along the lines that he would do anything for him.

Well, if that's the case, then he may be about to do his best bud a very big favor when it comes to Apple's fight against the blatant ripping-off of Apple's iPhone and iOS from Google and its Android platform and licensees.

This is because of the fact that apparently not only does Oracle have an extremely good chance of beating Google in court over the former's blatant and deliberate abuse of its patents and copyrights, but now according to world-famous patent expert, Florian Mueller, from good-old Germany, Larry and company wants a-hell-of-a-lot more payback from Google than just merely big fat royalties or a big fat lump payment.

No, according to Herr Mueller any royalties or lump payments that Oracle might be entitled to receive from the big G would be nothing more than a substantial consolidation prize; what Larry and company wants, what it really, really wants is a total injunction against Android, plain and simple!


Now, if that is indeed the case, then it would be one enormous nuclear like blast of the entire Android platform, and one that could literally destroy it overnight, and thus sending Google's engineers back to the drawing table to start all over from scratch, providing it even has the will or the money to do so?

It would also, at the same time, make all existing Android software totally dead-in-the-water if Android were forced to start all over from scratch.

Also, according to this very well informed Deutscher and world-famous patent expert:

".......... forget all the billion-dollar figures that make headlines. Besides explaining that the new damages computation doesn't specify future damages but wants those to be subject to a "separate, post-verdict assessment" (which would be made only in the event Oracle is denied an injunction), it's a clear vow to fight hard for an injunction, it makes it clear that Google's design choice to deviate from the official Java standard (which Oracle referred to as fragmentation in other pleadings) is a key part of Oracle's argument for an injunction (and for why a mere damages award wouldn't be sufficient in this case), and it refers to "many others' investments", presumably meaning other holders of Java-related intellectual property (note that Oracle is not even the only such right holder to be suing Google at this stage, since Gemalto is also asserting Java-related patents against Google, and there could be more than those two in the future)." (Emphasis mine)

Now that's what I call pretty heavy stuff, and the kind of stuff that must be keeping the boys in Mountain View up late at night, as they and their lawyers scramble, big time, to come up with ways in which they can wiggle themselves out of this mess, because as Herr Mueller further goes on to report:

" The bottom line is that a Java license can become more costly, possibly even far more costly, to Google than the proposed acquisition of Motorola Mobility if Oracle obtains an injunction that Google can't engineer around. In that case, Oracle could shut down Android and make Google a take-it-or-leave-it offer, the terms of which would not in any way be limited by whatever Oracle previously calculated as damages." (Emphasis also mine)

Of course, assuming that Oracle wins this case, and it's is increasingly likely that it will, what impact could this possibly have on Apple's own efforts against various Android OEM's, such as HTC and Samsung, who apparently has such a weak case against it that it is now vowing to step up its legal attacks against it in order to confuse the courts, in hopes that Apple will find it easier to agree to letting them continue to violate Apple's existing patents.

Seriously, if Oracle can legally kill-off Android, what point would there be in Android OEM's continuing to fight Apple? None that I can think of, other than the weak prospect that they might get a few extra crumbs out of the deal, which I honestly can't see them getting in the first place, but I could be wrong, since I am not a patent expert like Herr Mueller.

Apple has a lot going for it in its fight with Android OEM's already, but if Oracle can succeed in not only making Android an expensive proposition, something that would surely happen if Google had to pay out huge royalties, plus gigantic multi-billion dollar lump payments, but if Oracle could literally kill-off Android outright by injunction, then Apple's fight against Android OEMs may no longer be necessary! After all, what advantage would they have in fighting for a dead platform?

So, in conclusion: does Oracle really want to kill-off Android by an injunction; and can it, if it does?

That's what we're all about to find out.

And that's my 2 cents 4 this miserable, wet and dreary Friday, September 23, 2011

Oracle vs Samsung graphic via: MobileWorld

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