Application Development: Why Oracle Believes Google Stole Java for Android Development

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-04-18 Print this article Print
Why Are We Here?

Why Are We Here?

Oracle's opening slide asks: Why are we here? It cites an email from Google's Tim Lindholm acknowledging Google's need to get a license for Java&151;something Google never did.
The long-awaited trial over whether Google infringed on Oracle's Java patents and copyrights in its creation of Android began in a federal courthouse in San Francisco during the week of April 16. As eWEEK's Chris Preimesberger reported, Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison appeared to be comfortable testifying April 17 in his company's lawsuit against Google. The central claim is that the search giant wrongfully used Java APIs in the creation of the Android mobile device operating system. Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page also spent a few minutes at the end of the session answering questions in front of the judge and 12-person jury but did not delve into anything of substance.  However, on the third day of the trial, Page seemed to admit that Google did not have a license, but the company believed it didn't need one. The two IT giants took turns accusing each other of improprieties in the case, in which Oracle has asked for about $1 billion in damages and may seek an injunction against Google using the Java APIs it claims to own for licensing. "Google is the only company I know that hasn't taken a license for Java," Ellison testified. "I met with [former Google CEO, now Executive Chairman] Eric Schmidt in 2010 to discuss a joint project in which Google would use Oracle's version of Java in its Android software for smartphones rather than their own version of Java." Oracle is relying heavily on email evidence to establish its case that Google trampled on Oracle's IP rights. Oracle attorney David Boies paid particular attention to one email from Google engineer Tim Lindholm&151;a former member of Sun Microsystems' Java team&151;that underscores the point that Google needed a license for Java. Oracle produced a massive slide deck to help prove its case. Here, eWEEK shows the evidence that Oracle is using to prove its point against Google.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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