Google’s trial against Oracle, who is suing over patent infringement regarding the use of Java in building the Android OS, finally commenced this week – 18 months after Oracle’s initial complaint.
Today Oracle CEO Larry Ellison took the stand, and seemed to have been ill-prepared for the questioning of Google’s legal team. When lead counsel Robert Van Nest asked Ellison a quite obvious question – “Do you understand that no one owns the Java programming language?,” Ellison started in on a drawn-out answers, and was interrupted by Judge William Alsup, who told him it was a “yes or no” question. Ellison paused and said, “I’m not sure.”
Van Nest continued, “And anyone can use it without royalty?” At this, the perpetually tanned Ellison again replied, “I’m not sure.” Then Van Nest and Google’s legal team showed a video of Ellison being previously asked the same questions, though answering “That’s correct” to both. Surely the Oracle team will point out the varying contexts of Ellison’s answers – Still, it would appear the Google’s lawyers might not have to work very hard in defending the company’s rights to Oracle’s Java patents.