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Oracle Opens Trial Pointing To Google Emails

The trial in which Oracle accused Google of riding roughshod over its Java intellectual property rights kicked off yesterday.

While Oracle had initially claimed seven patent violations, that has since been narrowed down to two. That said, it still represents $1 billion worth of damages, and a potential precedent when it comes to software development.

Oracle believes that Google has unfairly used Java in the development of its hugely successful Android OS, which it gave away for nothing, thereby removing the possibility of Oracle licensing Java to smartphone manufacturers, the firm argues.

When opening the proceedings, Oracle cited several emails between Google employees which the firm believes show that the search giant was aware of its own culpability in the matter.

One email from 2005 showed Andy Rubin, head of Android, proposing to Larry Page that they should get a license for Java. He said: "We'll pay Sun for the license."

Then, in 2007, that tune changed in an email from Rubin to CEO Schmidt, when he reportedly wrote: "I'm done with Sun (tail between my legs, you were right). They won't be happy when we release our stuff."

Oracle acquired Java technology when the firm snapped up Sun.

Google is arguing that certain parts of Java simply can't have copyright asserted over them, and should Oracle win this case, it would set a precedent which threatens the entire software industry, and the goal of making software systems work smoothly together.

Going by those couple of emails, though, the search giant knew it wasn't going to make any friends over the issue.

Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs commented: "You can't just step on someone's IP because you have a good business reason for it."

Source: Reuters (opens in new tab)

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.