Behind Ellison’s Support for Trump: Oracle’s New Feud with Google

To support Trump in Silicon Valley requires extraordinary courage and a gutsy spirit. California is the most loyal Democratic district, where Clinton beat Trump by 30 percentage points in 2016. Silicon Valley is a beacon of liberals, with Mrs Clinton winning more than three-quarters of the vote in three counties in silicon valleys ( San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara). Trump’s political needosis – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is from San Francisco, where Trump’s share of the vote is not even double-digit, and he is met with rallies and protests every time he comes to California.

Behind Ellison's Support for Trump: Oracle's New Feud with Google

Take the risk of Silicon Valley

While California’s vote is hard to count on, President Trump arrived in California two weeks ago for two private fundraisers. One of the private golf events, which cost up to $100,000 to get a ticket to a photo shoot alone, costs $250,000 to sit down and talk to Trump. Conservative estimates suggest that the two fundraisers could bring at least tens of millions of dollars to his campaign and continue to expand the Trump campaign’s funding advantage.

But hosting Mr. Trump’s hosts at his own golf club has sparked outrage in Silicon Valley, drawing criticism from not only the media and netizens, but also his nearly 10,000 employees. The Silicon Valley-based man is Larry Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder and executive chairman. After the protests were ineffective, more than 300 Oracle employees went on strike in anger, arguing that Ellison’s support for Trump was contrary to the company’s values.

But Mr Ellison is in a much better position than Peter Thiel, the ex-Peat co-founder who was previously scolded by Silicon Valley for supporting Mr Trump. Oracle has 130,000 employees, and more than 300 people protesting is nothing. Oracle is facing the corporate market, ordinary people’s protests will not affect their performance, companies will not easily replace Oracle’s services. What’s more, Ellison is already Silicon Valley’s most maverick billionaire, and he doesn’t care about political lying voices.

Ellison is a Republican and a big Republican. He has more than $60 billion in personal assets, on the same level as Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg, both of whom are Jewish. Since 1993, he has accumulated more than $10 million in political donations. During the 2016 Republican presidential primary, Ellison endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and did not publicly endorse Trump.

So why would Ellison use Silicon Valley’s name to support Trump this time? Ellison is known for his shrewdfers and apparently doesn’t do anything that’s not good for him. You know, in 2015 he also played for former President Barack Obama at his estate. Ellison has not been close to Trump before, and has not given money to Trump before. After Trump’s election, he didn’t see him get close to the president, but Cook and Zuckerberg have met With Trump many times.

His rivals are under heavy pressure from the Trump administration, and his century-old lawsuit is at its final stage. At this point, a fundraiser for Mr. Trump, bringing in tens of millions of dollars in political donations to the president, could be billions of dollars in revenue. What’s more, with the current election situation, Mr. Trump has a better chance of re-election, with sustained returns over the next four years.

In November, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that oracle and Google would hear patent lawsuits, and court hearings would begin later this month. From 2010 to the present, the century-old lawsuit has been going on for a decade, and it is finally the time for the dust to settle. The $9.3 billion claim is also the highest patent filing in history. By comparison, apple and Samsung’s six-year patent lawsuit, which will eventually pay $540million, is only a fraction.

Oracle bought Sun in 2009 for $7.4 billion, which also includes revenue from Java, the latter’s star software asset. The following year, Oracle filed an infringement lawsuit against Google for using Java code for violations on the Android platform, and in a subsequent lawsuit, Oracle filed a $9.3 billion infringement claim against Google. Google argues that Oracle’s sky-high claims are outrageous, that they use the Java programming language reasonably under U.S. copyright law, that only 3% of the interfaces are involved, and that the API software interface should not be considered patent, not to mention that the Android platform is free.

Oracle argues that Google used more than 10,000 lines of Sun’s Java software code on the Android operating system without consent. While the Android platform is free, Google has made huge financial gains, including at least $42 billion in mobile advertising revenue.

Over the past decade, the Android operating system has become the undisputed world’s largest mobile platform, with 2.5 billion devices (not including the mainland market). Google’s market capitalisation once exceeded $1 trillion, while Oracle’s was less than $200 billion. Oracle even argues that Android’s infringement of Java software has caused it to miss out on huge opportunities to enter the smartphone market. Previous Saipan and BlackBerry systems also used Java software, but both were granted official commercial licenses.

The federal government stands up for Oracle.

Over the past decade, the two sides have been fighting the lawsuit. Oracle sued Google for $8 billion in 2010, and in 2012 a Federal Court in the Northern District of California ruled that Google did not infringe Java copyright and that the API interface could not be considered a patent. Oracle won an appeal in 2014 and the case was sent back for retrial. Oracle filed a $9.3 billion claim, but in 2016 the court again held that Google was using Java fairly and did not involve patent infringement. Oracle won the appeal for the second time in 2018, and the case returned to its original point, culminating in the U.S. Supreme Court.

In such very professional cases, U.S. judges take full account of the views of professionals and regulators, known as “amicus curiae.” Oracle and Google also have their own powerful back-up groups around this century’s litigation. In the lawsuit, Google received written support from Microsoft, Mozilla and more than 100 Internet companies and nonprofits, including software giants such as Apple and Adobe, the American Publishing Rights and Recording Industry Association, and others. Both sides have their own reasons that seem perfectly justified.

Apple’s iOS doesn’t use the Java language, not to mention Android is iOS’s biggest competitor. Microsoft initially announced its support for Oracle’s API interface copyright, but after new CEO Nadella took over, Microsoft struck a partnership agreement with Google and later changed its position to support the rational use of the API. Microsoft announced last year that SQL Server 2019 is free to support Java, and some program is digging Oracle’s corner, after Oracle changed its Java licensing model in 2018 and phased out free support for Java SE.

But Oracle has a stronger back-up, the federal government. On the same day that Ellison hosted Mr. Trump, the Justice Department publicly urged the Supreme Court to uphold the appeals court’s decision. U.S. Attorney General Noel Francisco has explicitly asked for a Supreme Court hearing in which they support Oracle’s legitimate claim that “the defendant copied the code of a competitor’s software platform, created another non-compatible competitive software platform, and then promoted the infringing product.” Interestingly, the Conservative American Union also stepped in to declare its support for Oracle.

The position of the Federal Ministry of Justice has not changed. In 2015, the year Obama played at Ellison Stadium, the Federal Justice Department also announced its support for Oracle’s claim. Although the separation of powers in the United States in theory ensures that federal judges are not pressured by the executive branch, the Supreme Court will seriously consider the advice from the government in the actual decision. Two of the nine Supreme Court justices are currently nominated by Mr. Trump.

Antitrust Litigation Pressure

If Oracle wins the lawsuit, will it affect the Android experience? No, Oracle only wants compensation from Google. But whether the application’s API interface is considered copyright will affect our Internet software industry. API interfaces are almost ubiquitous, and we are the infrastructure for different software using smartphones. If THE API becomes patent protection, then the future application software development rights and interests will be unavoidable.

To Oracle’s delight, the federal government is launching antitrust investigations into Internet giants such as Google and Amazon, which are rivals of Oracle, which is not under investigation. Last September, federal and local investigators contacted Oracle to ask them for information to cooperate in investigating whether Google violated antitrust laws. The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for Google’s antitrust cases, while Amazon and Facebook’s are the federal trade commission.

Amazon, the cloud services giant, is also Oracle’s main competitor. Last September, a new nonprofit, Free and Fair Market Initiative, publicly pressured Amazon, accusing it of suppressing competition and innovation, obtaining government subsidies, pressuring warehouse workers and violating user privacy. Behind the not-for-profit is Amazon’s rivals: Oracle, the cloud computing company, Wal-Mart, the supermarket chain, and Simon Property, the mall real estate developer.

In this respect, the enemy’s enemy is a friend. Mr. Trump’s relationship with Mr. Bezos’s Washington Post has been so bad that he has repeatedly publicly called for a crackdown on Amazon. Late last year, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded JEDI, a $10 billion cloud service project, to Microsoft, not Amazon, the most vocal. Although Oracle also did not get the JEDI project, but in the future the U.S. government will have more cloud services tender, and now and re-elected president is very much hope to close the relationship, is obviously a time-learned choice.

The two-term relationship between U.S. politics and business has been close, and the tech giants have frequent contacts with the White House. Former President Barack Obama is a regular in Silicon Valley, especially with the internet giants of Google and Facebook. In the 2016 election, Silicon Valley tech giants almost all fell to Mrs. Clinton, but they were disappointed. In the years that followed, Google, Amazon and Facebook became the biggest regulators.

In addition to Apple, Oracle has maintained good relations with the Trump administration for the past three years. Oracle CEO Safra Katz joined Mr. Trump’s transition team in late 2016 and publicly said he “supports President Trump,” prompting protests from several executives to resign. She was also a candidate for Treasury secretary and national security adviser in the Trump administration. In April 2018, Katz also joined Thiel at the White House for a Trump dinner.

Against the backdrop of such introductory contacts and interests, it makes it all the more logical that Ellison hosted President Trump at his estate to help him raise huge sums of money for his re-election.