It was recently reported that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison seemed a bit confused while answering questions from Google’s legal team, while on the stand during the Oracle/Java, Google/Android trial that commenced this week – and when it was Google CEO Larry Page’s turn, his demeanor was reportedly more elusive than confused.
After an hour of exhaustive questioning, Page finally admitted that Google never achieved a license from Oracle to alter its Java APIs while developing the Android operating system. Still, Page elaborated that Google didn’t think a license was necessary, and that only open-source Java content was used, which wouldn’t eventuate any infringement issues, being freely available in the public domain.
As while Google lawyers grilled Oracle’s Ellison, U.S. District Judge William Alsup repeatedly interrupted Page to order him to give yes or no answers – Page reportedly remained elusive, stating, “When we weren’t able to reach terms on a partnership, we went down our own path,” when asked by Oracle attorney David Boies about any licensing agreement. When Oracle’s legal team questioned Page about internal company emails acknowledging that a Java license was likely needed, the 39-year-old Google co-founder claimed he either wasn’t familiar, or didn’t remember.
Google attorney Robert Van Nest in turn cross-examined Page concerning the internal Google emails in question, and Page explained that any discussion referred to a potential and broader partnership with Sun Microsystems (the developer of Java), which would turn out to be unnecessary. It would appear that Google’s Page remained much cooler than Oracle’s Ellison under the veil of $1 billion at stake.