Google’s own email and court filing hints at willful infringement of Oracle patents

IPBlog has reported on the infamous, incriminating Google email. Now a US judge has allowed Oracle to use the internal Google email in its Java patent infringement lawsuit against Android.

The email includes text from a Google engineer suggesting that the company had no choice but to negotiate a license for using Java in Android.A Google trial brief also appears to inadvertently indicate that Google knew it was infringing on Sun’s (now Oracle’s) Java patents when it created the Android operating system.

  1. Google states it relied upon the fact that “Sun had a public position of never using its patents offensively…but was willing to go to court to prevent unauthorized use of the JAVA trademark or the ubiquitous Java coffee-cup logo.”
  2. Google reports Sun “offered Google full rights to … approximately 2,000 Java-related patents for just $28M over three years.” This was to “compensate Sun for the risk of lost licensing revenue that might result from” Android.
Analysts should note the fundamental planning flaws inherent in Google’s reliance on the current state of affairs (how Sun would behave) without running basic “what-if” scenarios, such as, “what if Sun were acquired by a more aggressive company?” In this case, the flaw may soon have a value associated with it, as willful infringement allows for increased damages, up to three times what might be awarded if the infringement were only innocent or accidental.