Biz Break: Oracle wants Google to pay up; pot sales are getting high

Top Of The Order: 

They’d Probably Take A Check:  With all the goings on between Apple and the FBI in the courts being settled, for now, anyway, it’s time to move on to other big snits taking place between some of the other big kids on the Silicon Valley playground. Today, those are Oracle and Google.

It might have been easy to forget the copyright lawsuit that Oracle is pursuing against Google. Oracle first filed suit six years ago, or, back when the term “Isis” was best-known as the name of an Egyptian goddess who was “worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic.” The original jury trial was split in 2012 over whether Google’s use of Java in the Android operating system was legal due to “fair use” principles, which permit copying software and other copyrighted material under limited circumstances.

Yeah, these companies have been arguing about all of this for a while, now. And they are going to argue some more, what with a new trial slated to begin on May 9.

Well, now we know at least some of what Oracle wants from Google. And that “some” is up to $9.3 billion.

That’s right…$9.3 billion in damages. For a little context on the size of that amount, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is worth almost $50 billion.

Middle Innings:

You Put Your Weed In There!: If we haven’t admitted it yet, we might as well now: Marijuana just doesn’t have the social stigma it used to. It’s not just for heavy-metal loving stoners anymore. Pot is legal in Washington State and Colorado, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before it may be truly legal everywhere.

And it is legal, to a degree, at least for medical use in many states, including California. In fact, a new report from New Frontier, a big data research firm specializing in the cannabis industry, says that legal marijuana sales in California came to $2.7 billion in 2015. New Frontier released the report in conjunction with ArcView Market Research, which publishes market projections and data on the cannabis market. Marijuana sales in California are so strong that the state made up more than 47 percent of the approximately $5.7 billion in legal pot sales nationwide last year. New Frontier and ArcView also said such sales nationwide increased by 31 percent over $4.6 billion in 2014.

The report also said California weed is expected to grow (pun strictly intended) to $6.6 billion in 2020 as the state edges closer to legalization for adult usage. There is no forecast, however, for if we can expect a surge in Jack In The Box Munchie Meals over the same period.

Does It Have Four Wheels, Or Only Three?: Trying to figure out what Elon Musk and Tesla Motors have in mind for a new release has become a cottage industry not quite on par with guessing what Apple has up its sleeve, but it’s getting there.

This week, Tesla is set to unveil the new Model 3 on Thursday. What’s it going to look like? What will be under the hood? Will Elon Musk’s voice provide commands and navigation directions over the car’s stereo system? Will the Model 3 come with a few free shares of SolarCity, the solar-panel technology company where Musk is chairman? Might as well keep on guessing, for now.

All will be revealed Thursday morning. And at 8:30 PT that day, you will be able to go online and reserve a new Model 3…with a deposit of $1,000.

Bottom Of The Lineup: 

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Tuesday…

Movin’ On Up: Nanometrics shares rose 8.6 percent, and advances also came from Sigma Designs, Jive Software, Silver Spring Networks and Rovi.

In The Red: Synnex shares fell more than 7 percent, and Medivation, Rocket Fuel, YuMe and Symantec ended the day with mild losses.

The SV150 Index of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies rose 2 percent to 1,614.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.7 percent to end the day at 4,846.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.6 percent to finish at 17.633.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose almost 1 percent to close at 2,055.

Quote Of The Day: “This case should never have been brought.” — Apple, in a statement the company put out after the FBI said it unlocked the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters without Apple’s help.

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Photo: Oracle headquarters in Redwood City. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


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