The business squabble between Oracle and Google over Android continues after a lawyer for Oracle revealed in court that the operating system has already generated $31 billion in revenue and $22 billion in profit for its maker.

During a federal court hearing in Northern California on Jan. 14, Oracle's legal counsel Annette Hurst discussed the findings of their analysis of revenue and profit from the Android OS.

In its court filing, Google said that Hurst's statements were based on information taken from internal financial documents that were not supposed to be made public. The company has asked the court to place the disclosures under seal.

"Google does not publicly allocate revenues or profits to Android separate and apart from Google's general business," Google said in its filing. "That non-public financial data is highly sensitive, and public disclosure could have significant negative effects on Google's business."

Oracle has declined to provide any comment regarding the disclosures in court.

The transcript of the hearing was initially available electronically at a courthouse in San Francisco, but has since been removed from the court's computer system accessible to the public. There is also no indication that the court has granted Google's request to have it sealed.

Java Language Use

The legal battle between the two tech companies began when Oracle accused Google of using Java language for the development of the Android OS without paying for the software.

Use of the Android OS started in November 2007 with the debut of the Android alpha. Android 1.0, the first version of the mobile operating system to be used commercially, was introduced in September 2008.

Oracle is trying to utilize information on Google's finances to prove in court that the company used the Java software in its development of the Android OS so that it can quickly make profits from it.

Oracle wants to set the value of damages it is seeking from Google based on the search engine company's earnings from Android. This would mean that the larger the revenue Google made from the operating system, the more money Oracle could receive for the copyright infringement once the case is taken to trial.

In last week's hearing, Hurst argued that at the time of Android's development, it was crucial for Google to finish the operating system as soon as possible.

The company was competing with Apple regarding which of the two can release their respective technologies first. Consumers were becoming increasingly accustomed to the concept of mobile OS.

Hurst referenced a testimony given by an engineer from Google in which the individual stated that alternatives to the Java software "all suck."

Industry analyst James Cakmak of Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. explained that Oracle's data did not have enough granularity in terms of how much of the figures' percentage were derived from established and emerging markets, as well as how the numbers change with time in order to provide a concrete re-evaluation of Google's business.

He said that the margin in Oracle's figures was not much of a surprise, and that it helps provide a framework that can be used to interpret Google's monetization prospects regarding mobile.

Photo: Peter Kaminski | Flickr

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