Oracle wants $12.2b from Google for Java APIs

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Oracle wants $12.2b from Google for Java APIs

Record damages based on profit.

Oracle is seeking a record US$9.3 billion (A$12.2 billion) in damages in its long-running battle with Google over the use of copyrighted Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in the Android operating system.

According to a damages report filed last week in a US court, Oracle argued it was entitled to the damages due to Google's copyright infringement when it used 37 Java APIs in Android.

Oracle is seeking US$475 million in actual damages as well as US$8.83 billion in "profits apportioned to infringed Java copyrights".

In the damages report, prepared by intellectual property valuation company Ocean Tomo, the firm argued Android contributed to over a third of profit from advertising displayed on devices for Google, and all of the profit from Google-branded hardware, apps, and digital content sold for devices.

Leaked court documents earlier this year showed Android had earnt Google US$22 billion in profits since 2008.

Google countered the damage claims, arguing the Ocean Tomo report failed to offer anything resembling an expert analysis. 

It accused Oracle and Ocean Tomo of inflating the value of the 37 APIs, saying they're worth as much as the much larger entire Android code base.

The court case involves 37 APIs in a Java class library on Android that Oracle argues is its intellectual property.

Oracle first sued Google over the copyright issue in 2010. Several trials and rulings later, the case is now approaching another May trial which will determine whether Google's use of the Java APIs can be considered fair use.

Should Oracle's US$9.3 billion damages claim be successful, it would represent the largest payout in a copyright case in history.

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