Oracle Grills Google's Schmidt, Rubin - InformationWeek

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4/24/2012
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Oracle Grills Google's Schmidt, Rubin

Oracle, Google trial heats up as Oracle lawyers get crack at Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, who insists that Sun supported Android.

Oracle v. Google: Tour The Evidence
Oracle v. Google: Tour The Evidence
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
A week into Oracle's patent and copyright infringement lawsuit against Google, the media still were in full attendance. Not only was Google SVP of mobile Andy Rubin scheduled to return to the witness stand, but also the company's former CEO and current executive chairman Eric Schmidt was slated to appear.

Oracle is suing Google because it believes Google's Android operating system copied its copyrighted Java APIs and violates its patent rights. Oracle bought Sun in 2010 and obtained Sun's Java-related intellectual property.

The day began with Oracle objecting to Google's inclusion of a November 2007 blog post from former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz. The post congratulates Google for its launch of Android and suggests that Sun approves of Google's use of Java to create Android.

[ Read Google Continues Product Purge. ]

Oracle's counsel, no doubt having noticed that Google had amended its upcoming witness list to include Schwartz, asked the judge to exclude the post from evidence because Google didn't adequately disclose it in discovery.

Schwartz's testimony might not align with the story of willful intellectual property theft that Oracle 's attorneys have been presenting.

"Today is an incredible day for the open source community, and a massive endorsement of two of the industry's most prolific free software communities, Java and Linux," Schwartz wrote in 2007. "… Google and the Open Handset Alliance just strapped another set of rockets to the community's momentum -- and to the vision defining opportunity across our (and other) planets."

Google's argument is that Oracle delayed bringing its lawsuit while Google proceeded to develop Android under the presumed approval of Sun.

Google counsel Bruce Baber argued that if Sun or Oracle had made claims sooner, Google could have made different choices.

Judge William Alsup noted the two sides' differing views of reality. "One of you is saying [Schwartz's post] was disclosed and another of you is saying it was not disclosed," he observed, before finally denying Oracle's objection. He also denied a Google motion to exclude information about its business strategy and associated financial information that Oracle plans to present.

Oracle counsel David Boies resumed his questioning of Google's Andy Rubin, asking him whether he recognized a series of internal email messages to Google executives and others, in order to introduce those messages as evidence.

In one such email, Rubin wrote that he believes a "clean-room implementation" of Android is unlikely to succeed because of the prior knowledge of those involved.

"Anyone with specific knowledge (especially those from Sun) are [sic] tainted and would be bad," the email said.

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