The following are some snippets from the most recent issue of the International Forecaster. For the full 23 page issue, please see subscription information below.
For a company whose corporate motto is “Don’t Be Evil,” Google Inc. certainly has found itself at the receiving end of its share of lawsuits, claims and controversies. Still, even by Google’s standards this past week has been a difficult one.
A strange press release touting a company calling itself “Planetary Resources”–which promises to combine the “space exploration and natural resource” sectors and is being backed by a who’s who of technorati and big-name investors including Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin–is providing plenty of fodder for speculation in the press (“Is asteroid mining in our near future?”). But not even an announcement that Google itself was about to go interplanetary would be enough to keep the company’s legal woes off the business pages of the newspapers (let alone its own online news service).
Dominating the attention of the tech world at the moment is Oracle’s lawsuit against Google over an alleged misuse of Oracle’s programming platform, Java. The claim: Google used some Java in Android, their mobile offering, without licensing. The stakes: Oracle is seeking $1 billion and an injunction from further Android sales until the issue is settled. The hype: Testimony by both Larry Page and Larry Ellison, the CEOs of Google and Oracle respectively, earlier this week generated plenty of buzz and press attention. The bottom line: Oracle’s original $6.1 billion claim was thrown out of court because the judge determined that they were essentially making up their calculations, and no one really expects that they will receive the $1 billion they are now asking. In fact, it’s far from clear they will be awarded damages at all, although an injunction against the use of Java in Android could be an important and precedent-setting outcome.
But this was not Google’s biggest headache of the week.