Oracle’s legal counsel brings Google’s top management to court in the case filed against the possible copyright infringement of Oracle’s Java APIs. The court summoned Google’s senior vice president, Andy Rubin on Monday, April 23 to testify against the allegation on Google.
Rubin took to the court with utter confidence, which was a unlikely scene to witness as Google’s CEO Larry Page and software engineer Tim Lindholm did express some anxiety over the proceedings last week.
Oracle’s counsel David Boies immediately bombarded Rubin with questions over the email communication with Page and Lindholm back in 2005 when the company was working on the mobile operating system we now know as Android. After the purchase of the platform in the same year, the technology giants immediately started working on the API and one of the projects was to integrate Java into the code.
However, Java is the intellectual property of Sun Microsystems, who in turn are now property to Oracle. The case proceedings are to identify the possible infringements of IP laws back in 2005.
Bois started the questioning with the term Java core APIs, asking Rubin about his knowledge of the term. Rubin in return explained that it is term used by Sun Microsystems and Oracle to describe the part of the product that involves the Java programming code. He continued by saying that he does not use that term.
Boies then showed the court Rubin’s emails that he had sent to Lindholm and Page in 2005 and 2006. In one of the emails, Rubin wrote:
“My reasoning is that either a) we’ll partner with Sun as contemplated in our most recent discussion or b) we’ll take a license. i think a clean room implementation is unlikely because of the teams prior knowledge.”
When Boies pressed Rubin to explain the clean room implementation, he replied, “I think that’s reading a lot into that small sentence.”
In other emails Rubin wrote:
“I don’t see how you can open java without sun, since they own the brand and ip.
“Java lang apis are copyrighted. Sun gets to say who they license the TCK to and forces you to take the shared part which taints any cleanroom implementation.”
Rubin replied that “in the context of this” the APIs are the property of Sun Microsystems. However, failed to offer more elaborate answer as Judge William Alsup adjourned the court until Tuesday, when Rubin’s further inquisition will continue.