Yesterday marked the first day of the Oracle-Google intellectual property battle.
Oracle’s lawyer, Michael Jacobs, was first to give the opening statement, demonstrating how Google took Java copyrighted “blueprints” to develop Android applications, never acquiring any license to legally use them in Android’s framework.
“You can’t just step on someone’s IP because you have a good business reason for it,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs also displayed in court a few internal Google e-mails between co-founder Larry Page and Android chief Andy Rubin to show Google’s guilt of IP infringement. One letter from Rubin states that if they were going to pay anyone for licensing, they would pay Sun Microsystems, the original owner of the Java software before Oracle acquired it. But the May 2007 e-mail between then-CEO Eric Schmidt and Rubin might be Google’s downfall, as it indicated that they’d bypass Sun as well.
“I’m done with Sun (tail between my legs, you were right),” Rubin wrote to Schmidt. “They won’t be happy when we release our stuff.”
There’s proof that Sun executives congratulated Google when they released Android but Jacobs countered, saying what happened behind closed doors were far from what Sun perceived.
Oracle is seeking damages and wants Google to pay licensing fees for every Android-infringing device it sold, which would amount to as much as $6.1 billion.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup is presiding over the case and reminded both parties that this is a public trial and sensitive financial information will be laid out for everyone to see.
Jacobs informed the judge that their first witness would likely be Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and could take the stand as early as today.
Google is set to deliver their opening statement today.
Members of the jury were also selected yesterday. The jury is composed of seven women and five men ranging from a retired teacher, a U.S. postal worker, a store designer for Gap Inc., a retired photographer, an avid hiker and a nurse.