Stats Could Quantify Claims for Oracle in Android Fight

     (CN) – In a letter to the court, Oracle and Google feud over whether Google should have to turn over statistics and other data that Oracle says would allow it to determine the impact of the Android phone on advertising.
     The computer giants are locked in contentious discovery on the road toward an October trial in California’s Northern District Court that will determine if Google’s popular Android infringes on about 50 of Oracle’s Java patents.
     Oracle recently requested data that it claims will show how the Android phone has affected Google’s overall advertising rates by increasing the number of people using the search engine. Unable to reach agreement, the parties requested the wisdom of U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu in a joint letter this week.
     Oracle wants Google to produce seven years of data related to 5,000 keywords, including the “number of auctions or searches per month per keyword” and the average cost per click for each keyword, according to the letter. With this information, Oracle hopes to quantify Android’s impact on Google’s advertising rates by “isolat[ing] the effect of Android on Google’s non-mobile revenues through a statistical analysis of search volume, click-through rates, cost per click, and revenue for keywords before and after the introduction of Android.”
     “Android increases the value of keywords generally because it increases the number of searches and, therefore, the volume of keyword sales,” Oracle attorney Fred Norton wrote. “Separately, Android increases the utility and therefore price of certain keywords; for example, location-specific keywords become more valuable as they are used more heavily on Android. Searchers on Android devices are more likely to search for location specific keywords (increase search volume) and click through (increase CTR); accordingly, advertisers will pay more (CPC) and generate more revenue for Google (total revenue). These benefits are not observable without examination of keyword specific data.” (Parentheses in original.)
     But Google says that Oracle’s request has been “consistently unreasonable” and burdensome, and attorney Bruce Baber argued in the letter that the requested data will not show what Oracle claims.
     “The popularity of or metrics for any specific keyword or keywords cannot have a bearing on whether the existence of Android devices has had an effect on Google’s overall advertising revenues,” he wrote.
     “Given the unreasonable burdens associated with gathering the information requested by Oracle, its statistical insignificance, and the necessarily speculative nature of any conclusions that could be drawn from it, Google submits that the costly and burdensome exercise requested by Oracle would in the end necessarily be unproductive and improper,” Baber added.

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