Oracle seeking ‘billions’ in damages from Google

SAN FRANCISCO – Oracle Corp. is seeking billions of dollars in damages as part of its litigation with Google Inc. related to Google’s alleged infringement of Oracle intellectual property in its Android mobile phone software, according to a legal filing on Thursday.

In the filing in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Oracle attorneys argue that Google should not be allowed to have information redacted from the public record, including “references to the fact that Oracle’s damages claims in this case are in the billions of dollars.”

Oracle argues in the filing that its damages claims in the case are based on “concrete evidence,” and “should not be hidden from public view.”

Oracle’s litigation with Google has been closely watched, as a relatively unique instance of a lawsuit regarding Android filed directly against Google – and as a potential impediment for a Google technology that has become widely popular among mobile phone manufacturers and users.

A Google spokesman declined to comment. An Oracle spokeswoman also declined to comment.

Oracle originally filed suit against Google in August 2010, arguing that Android infringes on patents and copyrights associated with Java, a software originally developed by Sun Microsystems. Oracle closed its acquisition of Sun last year.

While Android, which is developed on an open source model, has attracted a number of intellectual property lawsuits, they are generally directed at the device makers that use Android in their products.

Oracle’s decision to sue Google directly has therefore raised questions about Oracle’s ultimate goal, and whether or not it intends to have Google pay licensing fees for the use of Java.

Java ME is widely used in lower-end, “feature” phones, while Android is prevalent among so-called smartphones.

Earlier this month, Google attorneys asked the court to disqualify damages estimates put forward by an Oracle expert, calling them “unreliable” and “inappropriate.”