Oracle and Google CEOs face off in court

Google and Oracle’s chief executive officers are facing off in court in a bid to resolve a dispute that may pose the biggest threat to Android.

Google’s Larry Page and Oracle’s Larry Ellison were ordered to appear before a federal court magistrate in California and explain themselves.

One lawyer told AP that it is a bit like a chance to end the “cold war” by wheeling in the heads of the companies to sort it all out.

If a judge manages to bang heads together, the companies avoid the risk of having a jury decide whether Google owes royalties.

Oracle’s case might represent a bigger menace to Google’s software than challenges from Apple. Ellison wants Oracle to get licensing fees of $15 per device as he tries to get money out of his Sun Microsystems purchase.

Page also could prove a worthy opponent. He has been buying patents and the attorneys need to defend against allegations of infringement. Either way the settlement talks are starting to look like fun.

Already Ellison’s demand for $6.1 billion has been laughed out of court as has Google’s statement that it should be about $100 million.

Ellison will likely ask for an ongoing licensing fee for each device that sports Android software, although the figure could be anything from $5 to $15 per device. Some analysts think that if Ellison is clever he will go for a dollar a device and make up the cash as Android does really well.

More than 550,000 Android devices are activated each day which means that Ellison will cash in if it succeeds. However if he demands more, he could kill the goose that laid the golden egg.