Google and Oracle face off - again - over Android, with billions on the line
Two of Silicon Valley's most accomplished heavyweights stepped back into the legal squared circle this week, as the search giant defends its use of Oracle's Java APIs in Android for the second time.
Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt took the witness stand on Tuesday and proved tough for Oracle's legal team to pin down, according to Computerworld. Schmidt — a longtime Silicon Valley insider and former Sun Microsystems chief — said that he had never heard of a company being forced to seek a license for API usage despite "forty years of experience."
Under additional questioning from Oracle attorney Peter Bicks, Schmidt went on to deny that Google requires developers or other interested third parties to obtain such licenses for use of its own APIs.
"I'm not aware of one that we treat as proprietary in the way you're asking your question," he told Bicks, nodding toward Google's assertion that Oracle's demands are unusual and unreasonable.
Just over 10,000 lines of code — out of potentially millions of lines in Android — are at issue in the trial, but Bicks sought to reframe that for the jury. "It took 10,000 lines of code to power this Apollo lunar module," Bicks said, holding up a photo of the famous spacecraft.
If Oracle emerges victorious, it could mean a windfall for Larry Ellison's firm. The company is seeking $8.8 billion in damages from what it believes is Google's $21 billion profit from Android to date.