Oracle claims Google owes it $1.6 billion

When Oracle goes to court it always asks for a silly amount of cash, and the recent Java case is no exception.

According to court filings, Oracle has added up the numbers, divided by its shoe size and pulled a number from the aether which suggests that Google owes it $1.16 billion of damages.

According to Reuters, Oracle insists that is because Google nicked some key Java technology in its Android operating system.

To be fair to Oracle, the figure is a lot lower than what Google claims Larry Ellison is after. Google thinks that Oracle wants $2.2 billion. However, it is a lot lower than what Oracle originally wanted, which was $6.1 billion. But, hell, what are a few billion here and there, between friends? U.S. District Judge William Alsup rejected the $6.1 billion and “unrealistic” but gave Oracle the chance to revise its claim.

In a letter to Alsup, Oracle lawyer Steven Holtzman said the revised damages estimate includes as much as $202 million for patent infringement, and as much as $960 million for copyright infringement.

The question is, why on earth does Larry tell his lawyers to go for the funny money first? It is not as if Google is a small outfit which might be intimidated by such a claim. Nor, does it seem that a judge will buy the concept that Oracle has suffered greatly even if a few bits of Java did end up under the bonnet of Android.

Google said it will show evidence that Sun actually supported the use of Java code in Android, long before Larry got his paws on the outfit.