Oracle: Google's Android activations worth $3.65B a year


Following Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) recent announcement that it activates more than 700,000 Android devices every day, Oracle--which is suing Google for patent infringement--calculates that the Android platform now generates $3.65 billion in revenues a year.

"While this case awaits trial, more than 700,000 Android-based devices are activated every day, all fundamentally built around the copyrighted Java APIs and the enhanced performance enabled by Oracle's patents," Oracle said in its filing. "Each day's worth of activations likely generates approximately $10 million in annual mobile advertising revenue for Google." Although Oracle does not provide a source for its estimate, intellectual property activist Florian Mueller states on his FOSS Patents blog that the figure is based on the assumption of annual advertising revenues of $14 per Android user. "This litigation has allowed Oracle to conduct some discovery of Google's business model, but Google might deny this per-user revenue level," Mueller notes.

An Oracle suit filed in 2010 alleges "approximately one-third of Android's Application Programmer Interface (API) packages" are "derivative of Oracle's copyrighted Java API packages" and related documents. (Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems and its Java programming language in April 2009.) According to court filings submitted in June 2011, Oracle wants Google to pay $0.9 billion to $1.4 billion upfront for infringing on its patents. Oracle also wants 15 percent of mobile advertising revenues generated across the Android platform.

The Google/Oracle trial was previously slated to begin in October, but, United States District Judge William Alsup postponed the date due to scheduling conflicts with a major criminal trial. This week, Oracle asked the court to sever and stay its patent claims for nine months in hopes the case will go to trial on "the first possible date in the winter or spring of 2012."

Google senior vice president and chief legal officer David Drummond alleges that Oracle, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are attempting to "strangle" the Android platform by leveraging "bogus patents" that could drive up costs for devices running the OS. Drummond adds that Google's rivals have banded together to acquire patents held by firms like Nortel and Novell "to make sure Google didn't get them... Our competitors want to impose a 'tax' for these dubious patents that makes Android devices more expensive for consumers. They want to make it harder for manufacturers to sell Android devices. Instead of competing by building new features or devices, they are fighting through litigation."

For more:
- read this eWeek article
- read this FOSS Patents blog entry

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