Oracle (ORCL) is currently involved in a number of lawsuits. The question that naturally arises, then, is whether or not these are distracting the company from its aim to keep its stock up.
Oracle and Google (GOOG) remain locked in battle over the Android patent. The lawsuit revolves around an assertion made by Oracle regarding its Java software which has been used in Google's Android technology. Google, however, insists that it did not use Oracle's protected code in order to achieve this.
At present, the jury is still out and has not yet reached a final decision, although recently, a partial verdict in the copyright phase was given. However, the jury expressed the need for more time to resolve the remaining issue in the lawsuit. This was recently granted by a judge so a final decision has not yet been made. So far the jury has agreed unanimously, with all but one of the points on the verdict form. This seems like good news for Oracle, but it may be a while before the jury is able to reach an agreement on that last issue. In fact the question is beginning to arise whether or not the jury is deadlocked. The implications of this will be far reaching for both companies.
A partial decision from the jury is acceptable at this point, but the judge gave them a short break to mull it over and perhaps come to a final decision on the last point. The jury will very soon reconvene, and we shall soon discover whether or not they are able to reach a final verdict. The actual question that the jury cannot agree on has not been revealed. If the current jury does not reach a verdict on this question, a partial verdict will be given, and the remaining question may need to be retried in front of a new jury.
This scenario may result in a mistrial, which would clearly work in the best interests of Google. Should this happen, the huge amounts of money that Oracle is hoping to win from Google in the legal battle will not be forthcoming. This could have a negative impact on its stock, as some investors may view the expensive court case as not being in the best interests of stockholders. On the other hand, if the jurors declare Google to be guilty, then Oracle will probably be awarded something in the estimated region of $600 million.
Moreover, the news which has recently come to light regarding the indecision of the jury, may mean that Oracle will have to deal with this problem for a while yet to come. In addition, there is still the question of whether or not Oracle even has a case. APIs generally speaking cannot be copyrighted. If this is how the jury ends this case, then Oracle's case will have been an extraordinary waste of time.
If this were the only lawsuit that Oracle was currently engaged in, then there may yet be hope for the company. However, Oracle is also fighting Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). Hewlett-Packard is seeking $4 billion in lost profit damages from Oracle. The most recent news regarding this lawsuit is that Oracle has no intention of reaching a settlement with Hewlett-Packard. The case revolves around an announcement by Oracle that it would stop developing software for use with Itanium. This has been opposed by HP, which claims that it had an agreement with Oracle regarding Itanium, without which the HP equipment using the chip would become obsolete.
Some of Oracle's competitors have also been in the news recently. Microsoft (MSFT) for example, may have an answer for Google and Apple (AAPL) in the BYOD game in the form of Windows RT. Windows RT is aimed directly at iPad users and is part of the trend towards the consumerization of IT or Bring Your Own Device [BYOD] movement. This move by Microsoft may be just what the company needs to put itself back on the map.
SAP (SAP) is expanding operations in Ireland mostly as a move to create more jobs for a country that has one of the highest unemployment rates. SAP already has 1200 workers employed in its Dublin and Galway sites and the company plans to add to that number very soon. In total SAP hopes to hire another 250 employees in the area to combat joblessness.
channel partners with expert proficiency in CA Automation Suite for Clouds now meet the Cloud Management Competency Validation criteria for the Cloud Builder designation of the Cisco Cloud Partner Program.
This is certainly a positive step forward for the company and makes it a stock that you should keep your eye on in coming months.
Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase (SY), announced recently that it has been working with Globe Telecom, running live commercial voice traffic across multiple Asian operators. Services offered by Sybase 365 are combined with Globe's technology to
...exchange international calls directly with other mobile operators rather than routing calls through traditional wholesale voice carriers.
The bottom line is that this significantly improves the sound quality of the service which means that there will be more satisfied customers on the horizon. In addition, Globe will now be able to expand its operations to a more global level.
Oracle desperately needs to pluck its head out of the courtroom and into its R&D division. While it's true that it needs to devote itself to winning these legal disputes, its competitors are advancing and may eventually leave Oracle in the dust. The best hope for the company, at this point, may be a quick and successful end to the legal battles, and a chance to introduce some new money, awarded from Google perhaps, to new research. I'm afraid anything less, at this point, would be too little too late to help Oracle get back on track.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.