Oracle downsizes war on Google

Oracle has removed the last claim of one of the patents it has accused Google of violating, and downsized the amount of damages it estimated from Google’s alleged infringement of Oracle’s Java software.

According to Groklaw, Oracle has withdrawn its claim against US Patent No. 6,192,476. The validity of the patent was in much doubt anyway after the Patent Office issued a final rejection of 17 of the 21 claims of the ‘476 patent.

Oracle is bringing in new patents against Google, which could potentially bring in millions of dollars in damages against the search giant. However, these are lightweight in comparison with the billions of dollars that Oracle was chasing in the first place.

Originally, Oracle claimed Google owed it up to $6.1 billion. That was in June 2011, but by September, that figure dropped to $2 billion. Google pointed out that Oracle’s damages estimate includes $1.2 billion in damages for unjust enrichment in 2012 alone and asked the federal judge to exclude parts of the calculation that it said aren’t supported by the evidence.

Oracle had a few problems with this. Its first two damages reports, the $6.1 billion and $2 billion bill, were put together by Boston University professor Iain Cockburn.

The judge told Oracle to calm down and use $100 million as the baseline for its damage claims, and go up and down from there. Cockburn included two alternate ways of calculating damages. Google has maintained that he still overestimated.

Even overestimating, Cockburn has come up with $57.1 million as the highest proposed figure. Google thinks the judge ordered Cockburn to make damage estimates on a claim-by-claim basis, which it insists he has yet to do.

If he does accept his claims as good enough, it means that Oracle is happy with $226.1 million in damages.