San Francisco: An Oracle Corp. counsel, Michael Jacobs, told a federal jury that Google Inc. knew as far back as 2005 that it had to license the Java programming language to develop Android software and didn’t strike a deal because it didn’t want to share portions of the mobile phone operating system.
Jacobs said Monday that using Oracle-owned Java ensured that Google’s Android software will be quickly embraced by programmers who write applications for smartphones and provide the search engine company with a commercial advantage.
Google’s mistake was that it didn’t take out a license allowing it to use Java and requiring it to share parts of Android, Jacobs said in his opening statements at Oracle’s trial against Google in San Francisco. Oracle is seeking $1 billion in damages.
“You can’t just step on someone’s intellectual property because you have a good business reason for it,” Jacobs said. “Google makes a lot of money from Android, and a portion of that money is Oracle’s.”
Oracle alleges that Google infringed copyrights and patents for Java. The two-month trial that started today will include testimony from the companies’ chief executive officers, Larry Ellison and Larry Page, as well as damages experts appointed by both sides and the presiding judge.
Google’s top executives knew they needed a license for Java, a so-called “open source” language that works across different computer systems, Bloomberg quoted Jacobs as saying.
In another e-mail that Jacobs showed to the jury, one Google executive tells another to “scrub out a few more Js” from Android code. The J stood for Java, Jacobs said.
Rubin said in an April 2011 videotaped deposition shown to the jury that Google doesn’t make money off Android. Jacobs showed the jury a transcript from an October earnings call in which Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said “people who use Android search twice as much as everything else.”
“Not only is there more searches, and there’s more ads, but it’s also more lucrative,” Schmidt said. “So, on that basis alone, Android is hugely profitable.”
Oracle, the largest maker of database software, is also seeking a court order blocking Google from distributing Android, now running on more than 300 million devices, unless it takes a license.
Google’s lawyers will counter with their opening statements Tuesday.