One of the biggest trials in the recent history of the tech industry is in full swing, as Oracle and Google slug it out in downtown San Francisco over whether Google pilfered Oracle’s Java technology to develop Android.
Here’s our recap of what happened during the first week, and highlights of the second week follow below:
Stick and move: Early in the week, Android chief Andy Rubin and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt borrowed the same strategies used by their colleagues during the first week of trial, uttering things like “I do not recall” fairly often. But they both agreed that Google believed its arrangement with Sun was legal, an opinion that would be bolstered later in the week. (Wired)
Patent denied: Oracle wrapped up its presentation of the copyright phase of the trial on Tuesday, but was dealt a blow on Wednesday regarding the upcoming patent phase of the trial. Judge William Alsup denied an Oracle petition to reinstate one of the five patents that were barred from the trial after they were deemed invalid upon re-examination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. After the PTO changed its mind on one key patent, Oracle hoped to get it back into play, but the judge ruled it was too late. (Groklaw PDF)
Show us the money: Google was forced to release as evidence a 2010 presentation on the financial picture for Android, including projections through 2013 for revenue and profit. The documents showed that Google was overly ambitious with its expectations for its Nexus direct-to-consumer plans, revenue from Google Music, and revenue from Android app sales. However, the documents also revealed that Android earns Google quite a bit of ad revenue, and that the company’s future projections for ad revenue were based on a much more conservative expansion of Android and smartphones in general than what has actually come to pass. (The Verge)
Sun rises and sets: Two former Sun executives presented very different impressions of how Sun viewed the APIs (application programming interfaces) at the heart of this trial. Jonathan Schwartz, CEO at the time Sun was purchased by Oracle, was called to the stand by Google and testified that Sun thought the Java APIs should be open and available to anyone. However, Scott McNealy, who co-founded Sun and served as CEO for decades, was called to the stand by Oracle and said Java contained “lots of intellectual property.” (CNET and ZDNet)
What’s next: Closing arguments in the copyright phase are expected to be delivered on Monday, after which the jury will deliberate on the central question of whether Google should have obtained a license from Sun in order to use the Java APIs included with the original version of Android. Should they find in favor of Oracle, damages will be decided after the patent portion of the trial kicks off.