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Eric Schmidt Claims Open Sourcing Android Was Legal

Eric Schimdt, Google's former chief executive, has told the court he is confident that Android, the world's most popular smartphone platform, was developed legally. He also maintains that top executives at Sun Microsystems had no objections to the project.

"My understanding was what we were doing was permissible," he explained. "From the sum of my experiences and interactions, I was very sure what we were doing was legally correct."

Oracle, which acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010, sued Google in August the same year, claiming that Android infringed on its copyrights and patents for the Java software language. Google's defence lists that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java as it is an open source programming language. Google also maintains that it did not violate any of Oracle's patents.

Schmidt was shown, by Oracle lawyer David Boies, a presentation from 2005 made to Google's top managers, clearly stating that Google must take a licence from Sun to create Android. Schmidt, currently Google's executive chairman, said he could not recall being told that information.

The trial is expected to last eight weeks and has been divided into three separate stages: copyright liability, patents claims, and then, potentially, damages. Google was once estimated to have to potentially pay out $6.1 billion in damages, however that has now been reduced to roughly $1 billion.

Source: Guardian (opens in new tab)