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A timeline of the Oracle vs Google trial
April 17: Oracle’s opening statement did not surprise anyone, as Google was accused of knowingly breaking Oracle’s intellectual properties regarding the Java language. According to a 2005 email from Andy Rubin to Larry Page, Google decided to keep using Java despite its disagreements with Sun (the creators of Java, acquired by Oracle in 2010), a move that Google officials knew they were going to have to defend. Oracle’s slides have been made available to the public. Catch them here!
April 17: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison testified that Oracle considered entering the smartphone business by acquiring RIM or Palm, but later discarded such considerations as “a bad idea”. Ellison also mentioned that Larry Page and Eric Schmidt refused to make Android “compatible with the industry standard version of Java”.
April 17: Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page makes his first appearance in the stand. He claims that Ellison informed him of bits of code copied symbol for symbol, but examples were never sent most likely due to lack of strong evidence.
April 18: As expected, Google’s opening statement tried to highlight that if the Java programming language is free, so must be the APIs behind it, before moving forward to show some examples where the Android APIs differ substantially from those in the Oracle JDK.
April 19: Google’s Chief Java Architect Joshua Bloch testified that he might have copied 9 lines of code as part of the Java’s rangeCheck routine (that he wrote himself while part of the Sun team), but claimed that it was simply due to good engineering practice. The nine lines of code are copyrighted by Sun, but are no longer part of the Android OS in the 4.0 ICS version.
Note: What these nine lines of code do is a task that can be accomplished by almost all programmers out there, even beginners. The code just checks if an array of numbers falls in a pre-defined interval. No rocket science here, folks.
April 23: Google’s Andy Rubin testifies that Google considered obtaining a TCK license for Android from Sun, but that idea was discarded as most manufacturers were expected to already own such licenses.
April 24: Google’s Eric Schmidt shapes up to be the most useful witness for Google. He explains why Google did not need a license since Java is a free programming language, also mentioning that Oracle wanted to sell a TCK license for $30-50 million. You can catch the full testimony at The Verge.
April 25: Trial evidence reveals that, back in 2006, Google wanted to subsidize a $9.99 for an unlimited data plan with T-Mobile for Android smartphones, but that never came true.
April 25: A presentation given by Andy Rubin in 2010 shows that Google officials expected the sale of 10m Android tablets in 2011. That was a missed projection.
April 25: Andy Rubin claims that he did not expect Android to heavily contribute to Google’s revenue via ad sales. Rubin also stated that Google refused to let Sun be involved with Android in order to “flush out the crap that been circling the bowl for years”.
These are the milestones that surfaced in the Oracle vs Google trial so far. The trial is expected to last 10 weeks, so expect more juicy information to be revealed in the future. We’ll keep you posted!