Orange County – Oracle is seeking an order from a judge in U.S. District Court in San Francisco that would require Google co-founder Larry Page to give his testimony in a patent infringement lawsuit.
According to Oracle’s claim, Google’s Android technology allegedly infringes on the Java computer programming language patents acquired by Oracle from its recent purchase of Java inventor Sun Microsystems. In a letter to the court, lawyers for Oracle stated, “Page reportedly made the decision to acquire Android, and thereby develop and launch the platform that Oracle now contends infringes its patents and copyrights.” The letter went on to say, “Oracle believes that Mr. Page’s testimony will likely be relevant with respect to a number of other key issues in this case as well, including the value of the infringement to Google.”
Google is opposing Oracle’s attempt for the order to question Page and three other current or former executives in the final weeks of the discovery process, arguing that Oracle was “gnashing its teeth with an eleventh-hour attempt to cram in more depositions.” According to Judge William Alsup, if Page does end up testifying, he will be questioned on whether Google chose to infringe on the Sun patents to avoid the cost of licensing the technology. Oracle has already deposed Andy Rubin, Google’s senior vice-president of mobile and co-founder of the Android Inc. startup that Google acquired in 2005.
In a statement from court documents, Judge Alsup said, “It appears possible that early on Google recognized that it would infringe patents protecting at least part of Java, entered into negotiations with Sun to obtain a license for use in Android, then abandoned the negotiations as too expensive, and pushed home with Android without any license at all.”
Google has denied any patent infringement claims and maintains that makers of mobile phones and other users of the open-sourced Android operating system should be entitled to use the Java technology that is at issue. Furthermore, Google insists that before Sun Microsystems was acquired, it had declared that Java would be open-sourced, allowing any software developer to use it. Google added that Sun Microsystems released some of its source code in 2006 and 2007.