Oracle purchased Sun for $7.4B in 2009.  The deal closed at the outset of 2010 and some wondered why Oracle had outbid IBM for the hardware/software giant.  Today we finally hear how much Oracle is after in its suit against Google over Android’s use of Java: $1.5 – $6 Billion.  That means that Oracle could recover more than half of the purchase price.  Perhaps most?  Just from one intellectual property suit.

Java pioneer and recent Google hire James Gosling gave a hint to what was to come when he resigned from Oracle right after the purchase

During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer’s eyes sparkle. Filing patent suits was never in Sun’s genetic code.

So, it seems that Oracle always had some Google Java money baked into its purchase price.  That’s why it could outbid IBM so spectacularly. 

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