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Dispute Damages Would Exceed Android Revenues 166

Posted by timothy
from the pay-in-negative-dollars dept.
CWmike writes "A new document in a year-old patent lawsuit filed by Oracle against Google over Android intellectual property suggests Oracle could be seeking huge damages from Google. The damages owed to Oracle, if granted by federal Judge William Alsup for the US District Court for Northern California, would 'far exceed any money Google has ever earned with Android' and could lead to a rewrite of Android's Dalvik virtual machine, considered integral to Android and used by Android device manufacturers and potentially thousands of Android app developers, wrote one blogger, Florian Mueller, who writes about intellectual property issues involving the software industry."
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Dispute Damages Would Exceed Android Revenues

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  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @05:04PM (#36367828)

    Florian is not a blogger, he is a professional troll.

    • by sockman (133264)

      No kidding, when will this idiot disappear.

      • by gnasher719 (869701) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @05:31PM (#36368210)

        No kidding, when will this idiot disappear.

        When Microsoft stops paying him.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vgerclover (1186893)
        When will /. stop linking to him?
        • by Dunbal (464142) *
          IF piquepaille was any indication - when he is dead.
          • Wow, I hadn't thought of him, but you're right, he passed on.

            (Age 62 to some bacterial infection.)

            It's the ever eternal push between revenue and purity.

            Really though, Florian Mueller and Galen Grumen have signed some nice deals that keep getting limelight.

            Slashdot is posting articles lately that force the commenters to fix the damn articles. That's starting to grate on me.

            • by hairyfeet (841228)

              Well if we are adding to the list of trolls we shouldn't have linked to /. for ANY reason, can I add a couple? If I never see another "article" by Steven J Nichols and Paul Thurott I would be quite happy, thanks ever so. Nichols and Thurott are two sides of the same coin, Nichols the "Will (insert topic of the day) (kill/crush/destroy) (Linux/FOSS/The GPL)?" and Thurott is such a shill he actually had the brass troll balls to say Vista was great, stable AND low resource. Right Paul, because i forgot what fu

          • by Nick Ives (317) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @01:19AM (#36371566)

            Slashdot will stop linking to trolls when they stop generating pageviews.

            If you want Florian to go away, stop reading this thread and don't enter into any further discussion.

        • by Frnknstn (663642)

          Let's hope he soon goes the way of Jack Thompson and Robert Cringely.

    • by jvillain (546827) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @05:09PM (#36367916)

      PJ has already chopped the legs out from under this latest troll job.

      Link [groklaw.net]

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @06:11PM (#36368680)
        The groklaw article summarizes it like this: It is very early in the MS v Motorola suit; winning a construction claim does not mean much so early. Florian apparently can't count. By his math, MS is up 17- 5. PJ's estimate is MS 12, Motorola 6, and neither 4. Florian seems to have moved all the neither counts to be MS victories. PJ also remind us that in Oracle v Google, Oracle's initial 132 claims have been reduced to 3. Not exactly the gloom that the article paints.
        • You go in with as many claims as you can make up. It may be that it only takes one successful claim to ruin Android.

          • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @06:47PM (#36369078)
            The point is if he can't do simple addition, can you count on his analysis? Hey we all make mistakes but he clearly seems to have an agenda proclaiming that Android is doomed. If you read any of the lwn posts, he takes the Glen Beck tactic of "I'm not saying that Android raped and murdered all these patents and copyrights; I'm saying no one has denied it. I find that interesting, don't you?"
          • You go in with as many claims as you can make up. It may be that it only takes one successful claim to ruin Android.

            Indeed, you only need one. A better example of the folly of software patents is hard to find.

          • by poetmatt (793785) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @09:12PM (#36370212) Journal

            You are completely wrong. A single claim will not ruin android, even if it were in east texas. It takes a claim to stick through the trial to do something, surviving the judge accepting the claim in the first place, and summary judgment. We have gotten to none of those scenarios yet. To ruin android is a far far cry. Remember, no injunctions have been granted, and it will be years before this is sorted out. What if 1 claim stuck, 6 years from now after appeal, and the fee was $500K? To see if there is anything at all, this case will have to go through along with it's appeal. Google has a very strong case and a very strong staff of lawyers as well.

            Your comment is completely inaccurate.

            • by bryan1945 (301828)

              To be fair, I think what he meant was "one successful suit." Of course, then there is question of the punishment, which may be anywhere from $1 to $Whatever. I'll be back in about 5 years, as you said, to see what's up with this (which most likely will be 'not much').

    • by ChipMonk (711367)
      "Blogger" is his title-of-the-moment. He's also been called "activist," "lobbyist," and "lawyer." Whichever title is most convenient to the topic at hand, is the one he'll use.
      • by poetmatt (793785)

        expert was the funniest title I've seen so far. Patent litigation expert even, considering that he's not even a lawyer.

      • by petman (619526)
        Honestly, I don't know why anybody would think that 'blogger' is a respectable title. I wouldn't be caught dead calling myself a 'blogger'.
      • by bryan1945 (301828)

        Wonder if we could manage to finagle him to use the title "Douchebag" without irony?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @05:15PM (#36368006)

      If anyone here doesn't keep up with Linux Weekly News, here's a example article and discussion thread involving said Florian Mueller:

      http://lwn.net/Articles/434318/ [lwn.net]

      Never knew much about him, but still was startled by his descent into on-payroll patent troll.

      • Mod parent up. The LWN link illuminates the agenda Florian Mueller is incessantly pushing. To give an idea of his style:

        How will you separate this special case from other cases of copyright laundering? Are you sure Google hasn't already done this in other cases, too?Are you sure nobody else has done or will now consider doing this, following Google's example?

        He is throwing mud under the assumption some of it will stick in the reader's mind. It's a veritable litany of "you cannot be sure", "X must have a

        • by bye (87770)

          Btw., his motivation is probably financial: he wrote bits of the Linux kernel networking stack and for years he not written any new code but has been suing companies via GPL violation lawsuits, which is probably a very lucrative business.

          If Google is not using his specific code he perhaps sees Android as taking away his standing to sue, and hence it takes away his livelihood. It is in his direct financial interest to see Android go down.

          Just speculating.

    • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @05:31PM (#36368212)

      Florian is not a blogger, he is a professional troll.

      I'd never heard of him before, but looking at his arguments is like watching Glen Beck. Given a lack of evidence to support his fear-mongering, he puts his fingers in his ears and repeatedly says, "I'm just asking the question: can we really say there's definitely no infringement?" When every specific example he cites is debunked, he returns to his litany and insists that infringement is possible, then chides his opponents for being unable to prove the impossible. Having debated competitively, I detect the belief that aggressively responding to every argument is equivalent to winning.

    • by Qwavel (733416) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @05:40PM (#36368306)

      Seriously, half of the stories that get posted on /. now are from trolls, particularly the ones about Android. It's gotten so bad that I really feel guilty that I'm continuing to read slashdot - I think it is wrong of me to continue to give my attention to such a low quality source of news and discussion when surely there are higher quality outlets available and more deserving of our attention.

      So, what are those other sites? Has some other site picked up where /. left off? A site where they (or their system) somehow weeds out the lowest quality items before accepting them?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If you're looking for higher-quality news than is posted here, I'd recommend that you check out FoxNews.com [foxnews.com].

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        well, there's metafilter, reddit and digg. But those are even worse.

        The problem with /. is that being a geek is mainstream and cool, so there are hipsters coming here and trying to act like us. And then they post retarded shit, but what we've seen over the past year is them gaining enough critical mass to break the moderation system.

        I'm personally a socialist, but I remember that there was a time when well-researched conservative arguments had a place here; now there's only retarded libertarianism and neo

        • Ultimately, we need to make it so being a geek isn't cool any more. Then the idiots will leave us alone.

          I couldn't agree more. Probably the simplest solution to that problem is for Slashdot to allow us to upload pictures of ourselves to be shown next to each post.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So many story summaries now are oversensalized, with many stories that are more like advertisements.
        It seems it's all about page hits and controversy.

        "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters" is long gone.
        Too often the *Editors* can't be bothered to even edit or check stories before posting them.

      • by Miseph (979059)

        Digg.

        Wow, I couldn't keep a straight face just typing that.

        No, sadly the internet is just made of failure and suck. Better get used to it, because this is about as good as it gets.

        • by microbox (704317)
          Recently discovered "researchblogging.org". Not computer news, but more substance than /. by a long shot.
      • by npsimons (32752) *

        Seriously, half of the stories that get posted on /. now are from trolls, particularly the ones about Android. It's gotten so bad that I really feel guilty that I'm continuing to read slashdot - I think it is wrong of me to continue to give my attention to such a low quality source of news and discussion when surely there are higher quality outlets available and more deserving of our attention.

        Try using the firehose [slashdot.org]; I try to go there at least once a day and downvote the trolls, spam and other BS, and upvot

        • by a.ameri (665846)

          Yeah, I think we have moved on. Sad truth is that Slashdot is not the place it used to be.

          For real news about stuff that matters, I now mostly rely on Ars Technica, Anandtech, LWN and The H. They pretty much cover most things I'm interested in between them.

          And if Google Reader stats that I see are any indication, in terms of users and traffic, Slashdot is just a shadow of itself these days.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wow. It's funny, having once come here nearly daily for the better part of a decade, I find I haven't been here in many months, and even after just looking over the front page articles and a few comments I was thinking the same things. Then I found your comment, modded up +5 Interesting no less, and I'm really wondering what the hell happened to this place. The best case scenario I can think of is that the editors suck more than ever, but I'm worried that it may also be because no one even submits anythi

      • And about 95% of comments too.
      • if you want a decent site to read similar to slashdot with a lot less trolling and shitty articles, try out hacker news on ycombinator [ycombinator.com]. Sure there's still some, but it no where near as bad as slashdot and gets ignored and the few obvious troll articles are quickly pointed out. The news is more or less the same, but they generally get into political news less. Slashdot is generally a day or two behind them in posting news as well I noticed.
      • by afabbro (33948)

        Seriously, half of the stories that get posted on /. now are from trolls,

        ...and the other half are Packt book reviews.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)
        I'd say OSNews [osnews.com] is pretty nice, but since it has a small community you won't get 300 comment threads there (but no shit eater and nigger trolls for the most part, gotta look on the bright side) and if you only want to browse the headlines so as to avoid troll articles in the future then Daily Rotation [dailyrotation.com] lets you customize the headlines towards your interests. I have mine set for science, new tech gear, Windows gadgets and freeware, and the basic headlines.
      • by Nick Ives (317) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @01:22AM (#36371586)

        Ars Technica. It lacks the format of /. but, to be honest, this format is the problem.

        If you want high quality tech news where the editors aren't afraid to post in the comments calling out idots for lowering the tone, start reading and posting at Ars.

    • With open source 'friends' like Florian, who needs enemies?
    • by Hatta (162192)

      Is there a difference?

  • by Dan East (318230) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @05:05PM (#36367848) Homepage Journal

    Kind of makes me wonder why Google didn't buy Sun.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I'm sure they didn't think far enough ahead and thought it would be no big deal for Oracle to have it.

      Of cousre Oracle has been in the business of screwing people for a long time so their interest in SUN should have been the first clue bad things were possible.

      • by jd2112 (1535857)

        I'm sure they didn't think far enough ahead and thought it would be no big deal for Oracle to have it.

        Of cousre Oracle has been in the business of screwing people for a long time so their interest in SUN should have been the first clue bad things were possible.

        True, but it's usually their customers that Oracle screws.

    • by Ynot_82 (1023749)

      Kind of makes me wonder why Google didn't buy Sun.

      and answers all the questions about why Oracle did

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      They didn't think they had too. They worked from the Harmony project which was supposed to be clean. Sun didn't seem to mind. Plus these are software patents which frankly should even exist. It will be interesting to see how many hold up in court. It isn't as if Google doesn't have a huge crap load of money to spend on the lawsuit.

    • by Macrat (638047)

      Kind of makes me wonder why Google didn't buy Sun.

      Because Google spent years hiring away most of the smart engineers.

      No need to acquire the MBA dead wood after you have the talent.

  • I thought the google code was based on harmony, a clean room implementation. If so, I don't see where Oracle has a leg to stand on. Of course, I could be wrong.

    • by Spad (470073)

      Like lacking a sound legal basis for a lawsuit has ever stopped anyone before...

    • by michael_cain (66650) on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @05:28PM (#36368172) Journal
      Clean room implementations generally protect you from copyright infringement. From a legal perspective, patents are a different beast altogether. If I hold a valid patent, your independent invention of the patented device/algorithm/whatever infringes. The only way you get to legally use that independent invention is to either (a) invalidate my patent or (b) get a license from me.
      • Oracle is really clear on its java lic. Anyone can write java but not everyone can write a JVM. Dalveck is just that. so it infringes. I can't see why the argument would last more than a minute.

        • You might want to read this fairly old [betaversion.org] summary of what Dalvik is.

          Note this bit:

          it just doesn’t compile the java code into java bytecode but (ops, Sun didn’t see this one coming) into Dalvik bytecode.

          So, Android uses the syntax of the Java platform (the Java “language”, if you wish, which is enough to make java programmers feel at home and IDEs to support the editing smoothly) and the java SE class library but not the Java bytecode or the Java virtual machine to execute it on the pho

        • Whether the Dalvik VM -- register based, different instruction set (although sufficiently consistent with the JVM set that byte code can be converted), built from a published JVM specification but without access to a JVM implementation -- can be subject to any Oracle license will ultimately be settled in court, but I find it unlikely. Note the quote from the blue book JVM specification:

          We intend that this specification should sufficiently document the Java Virtual Machine to make possible compatible clean-

          • although sufficiently consistent with the JVM set that byte code can be converted), built from a published JVM specification but

            Obviously you don't need a JVM specification if you invent/design/write a VM wich works completely different.
            BTW: I wonder to which papers you refer.

      • I'm sitting here just trying to determine exactly how software patents encourage innovation (the justification behind the whole patent system). As far as I can tell, with Software and Business Method patents, you can't actually invent anything until you get someone's permission.

        It just makes me sick.

    • For patents, it doesn't really matter if you come up with the idea independently; if your process, machine, manufacture, or composition is a subset of what is claimed in an existing patent (and what you did isn't eligible as prior art) and you're profiting from it, then you're infringing. Think about it like this: if you come up with a new motor or something, patent it, and then someone else sees your general idea, implements the same thing and sells it, but does so without delving into the details of how
    • by rthille (8526)

      Clean room matters in copyright, not in patents.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        It should.

        Being able to "re-invent" something should nullify a patent completely.

        Patents are like nuclear weapons and should be created and deployed accordingly.

        • by muuh-gnu (894733)

          > Being able to "re-invent" something should nullify a patent completely.

          How are you gonna distinguish re-inventing and simply copying? How is somebody supposed to prove having no knowledge of a previous patent after he nullified it by "re-inventing"? The patent system should stay as it is, but up the patentability level way higher, to a level of difficulty where people arent able to simply re-invent something just by sitting down and thinking about it a little, i.e. to the level of the often required, b

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07, 2011 @05:19PM (#36368056)

    Florian Mueller blog is a fake. Some call this astroturfing. All he does is spread FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) about Android (Linux). His blog was setup for journalists to point to because journalists have to point to other sources of information for their articles. And it seems to be working because I have seen CNN and other news outlets point to it. Shame on you CNN.

    Only guessing here, but Florian seems to be paid by Microsoft somehow to say these things. He even has written against IBM for the sake of Microsoft crushing IBM's mainframe business.

    His blog is misnamed - it should read what his intentions are - Anti-FOSS Blog.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      the most telling factor of him being paid is that when they asked to confirm that he's being paid by someone he completely avoided the issue and refused to answer any comments bout it. Said it was offtopic and refused to reply. Quite informative, actually.

  • Can we have a "florian mueller" tag, and something to filter out articles tagged "florian mueller"?

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      A nice troll icon would be good.

      I am sure we all have a few suitable pictures we could submit for something like this.

    • by dbc (135354)

      What we need are editors that *edit*. Why does an article where the only cited source is a discredited bomb-thrower even make it through the queue?

      Seriously, guys, quit wasting your time on repeatedly rewriting the UI and work on something that matters: fix the editing process.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Or better yet, not post them at all on /. the troll hardly deserves the traffic from the few people here that actually RTFA.

  • RIAA sues someone for downloading a few songs. Where is the revenue from that.

    It seems real/imaginary damages are more important that revenues.

    • I took that line as giving context to the number, rather than the judge basing it on the revenue from Android.
  • So if Oracle wins, they could get a large amount of money from Google, and Google would be forced to rewrite the VM to be non-infringing.

    This all has been true for a few months now. What's the news, exactly?

    • by zill (1690130)

      What's the news, exactly?

      Florian Mueller is getting rich from from spreading FUD.

      That's the only piece of solid fact that I got out of TFA.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @02:04AM (#36371822) Homepage Journal

    I suggest that geeks world wide place a special logo with the words "End Overly-Broad Patents" on every website or mobile service one has any legal control over, such as personal blogs, non-profit wiki's etc. Time to stand up to nonsense; it's keeping us in the dark ages.

  • It is beyonf me how anything regarding a bytecode interpreter can be patented. After all this is 40 years old technology ...

  • My userContent.css just got a new entry.

    a[href*="fosspatents.blogspot.com"]:after { content: " [TROLL WARNING]"!important ; color: red }

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