Google chairman testified in IP infringement case

Internet giant and Oracle battle it out over Google’s use of Java for Android

The trial is underway in the ongoing fight between Google and Oracle over the former’s use of the Java programming language in its Android software. And this week, Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt took the stand in defense of his company’s actions.

Oracle first filed suit against Google in 2010, claiming the Internet company used Android software for mobile devices, infringing on Sun Microsystem Inc.’s Android copyrights and patents. Oracle acquired the copyrights and patents on the technology in 2010 when it acquired Sun Microsystems.

This week, Schmidt told jurors that early deal negotiations with Sun fell through, so Google built the Android software for the mobile device using only certain aspects of the Java platform, taking care not to infringe on Sun’s intellectual property. Schmidt said he believes Google’s use of Java without a license from Sun was “permissible” and “legally correct.”

Oracle is asking the court for $1 billion in damages and an order to block the sale of Android devices until Google pays for a license. 

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Cathleen Flahardy

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