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Android IP Trial: Larry Page Leads As First Witness

Oracle has been quite critical of Google’s Android platform, alleging that Google didn’t respect the ownership of a number of Java-related patents owned by Oracle. Google, in turn, denies having done so. The failure of both to reach a settlement has now kick-started a court proceeding where Google’s CEO, Larry Page, was announced the first witness.


Oracle’s attorney certainly did make Larry admit to a lot of things he wouldn’t have wanted to. The primary argument from David Boies, Oracle’s attorney, was based upon a certain slide titled ‘Must take license from Sun.’ The slide was actually a part of the presentation which Boies alleged was written by senior vice president of mobile at Google, Andy Rubin.

According to Boies, after the meeting, Page was sent an email from Rubin which read,

“My proposal is that we take a license that’s specifically grants the right for us to open source our product. We’ll pay Sun for the licensee and the TCK. Before we release our product to open source community we’ll make sure our JVM (Java Virtual Machine) passes all TCK certification tests so that we don’t create fragmentation. Before a product gets brought to market a manufacturer will have to be a Sun licensee, pay appropriate royalties, and pass the TCK again. Sun has already permitted open source VM projects in non mobile areas — areas where they didn’t have a well defined revenue stream. Apache is an example.”

The email was quite instrumental for Oracle’s side of the argument since it pretty much reveals that Google was indeed aware of the different types of Java licenses and the need to purchase one. Page was eventually asked if Google discussed a license transfer with Google to which Page responded ‘that there were deals discussed where we were going to make payment to Sun that involved a variety of terms.’

The proceedings then turned to the very definition of a ‘platform’ to which Page said that whereas platform is not a very well-defined term, Android did certainly quality to be called one.

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