Oracle Ordered to Lower Damages Claim Against Google

Oracle has been ordered to lower its multibillion-dollar claim for damages in its patent infringement lawsuit against Google and its Android operating system, court papers show.

Oracle's expert "overreached" in concluding that Google owed up to US$6.1 billion in damages for alleged infringement of Oracle's Java patents, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup said Friday in a sternly written order. The "starting point" for Oracle's damages claim should be $100 million, adjusted up and down for various factors, he said.

Oracle's damages expert "served a report that overreached in multiple ways -- each and every overreach compounding damages ever higher into the billions -- evidently with the goal of seeing how much it could get away with, a 'free bite,' as it were," the judge wrote.

The expert, Boston University professor Iain Cockburn, is allowed to revise his estimate and resubmit it, but the judge warned Oracle that it won't get another chance after that.

"Please be forewarned: the next bite will be for keeps. If the next and final report fails to measure up in any substantial and unseverable way, including ways this order did not have time to reach, then it may be excluded altogether without leave to try yet again," the judge said.

Oracle did not immediately return a request for comment.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

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