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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.

Van Nest revisited the 2005 Android presentation that Boies had asked Schmidt about and provided Schmidt with an opportunity to offer his interpretation of how Oracle misconstrued the meaning of the evidence. The need for a license mentioned in the document referred to a trademark license to display the Sun logo rather than a license for the APIs, Schmidt suggested.

"In 2005, Java had evolved to primarily be used by mobile carriers and Sun strategy was to have mobile devices that were well-suited for Java use JVM and they would get a logo," he explained. "…I believe 'must take license form Sun' refers to the previous statement [on the slide deck], 'you need to have a license to use [Sun's Java] logo.'"

What followed was a review of Google failed courtship of Sun as a partner for its Android project. Negotiations broke down in 2006.

"At the highest level, the issue has to do with control," said Schmidt. "… Sun's view was they wanted much tighter control." He explained that it wasn't about money. "[Sun] wanted $30 to $50 million," he said, adding that Google would have paid that amount to resolve the situation. In 2009, Google also contemplated buying Java from Sun for an estimated $100 million.

Schmidt testified that Sun under CEO Scott McNealy and its subsequent CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, was supportive of Google's use of Java in its Android project. He said that no one at Sun objected to what Google was doing with Android and that no one from the company told him Google needed a license.

That support was evident in Schwartz's blog post, the one entered into evidence over Oracle's objection. "I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of others from Sun in offering my heartfelt congratulations to Google on the announcement of their new Java/Linux phone platform, Android," Schwartz wrote.

Boies in cross-examination undercut Schmidt's assertion that Schwartz had voiced approval by making his memory seem hazy.

Schmidt had said he met with Schwartz in May 2008, in a cafeteria on Sun's Menlo Park campus, where Schwartz expressed his support for Android.

But Boies raised questions about the accuracy of Schmidt's memory.

"When did this recollection of the meeting in the Menlo Park cafeteria come to you?" asked Boies, as if the memory had been recently and conveniently discovered. He then proceeded to review Schmidt's August 23, 2011, deposition in which Schmidt said that he didn't remember the specifics of meeting with Schwartz and that the meeting had occurred in Schwartz's office.

Boies pressed Schmidt on whether Google had ever tried to implement its own versions of the 37 Sun Java APIs at issue in the case instead of copying Sun's.

Schmidt rejected the way Boies put the question. "We used the interface names, which is how one does this, then we did our own implementation of these services," he insisted.

Boies also pushed back on Schmidt's earliest testimony that the 2005 Android slide desk referred only to the need for a trademark license to display the Sun Java logo.

"You knew that was a license for more than just trademark, didn't you, sir?" asked Boies.

Schmidt insisted he didn't.

Shortly after Van Nest returned to questioning Schmidt, the judge ask Google's counsel and Schmidt to clarify the distinction between APIs, the Java language, and Google's source code implementation.

"If [Google] didn't need anyone's permission to use the APIs, how come they need a clean room?" the judge asked.

Schmidt explained that the source code implementation is separate from the API or interface. He offered as an example a program that adds two numbers and prints the result. The print statement, he said, would be the API or interface and the code that translates the result to a printer would be the implementation. It is the implementation that's proprietary, Schmidt said.

Oracle asserts its APIs are protected, too.

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