Larry Page says Android is important but not critical to Google's success

By on April 19, 2012, 3:30 PM

During questioning in an ongoing legal battle with Oracle, Google CEO Larry Page said that Android is important but not critical to the company’s success. He further proclaimed that he would have preferred to enter a business partnership with Sun Microsystems rather than going down their own path.

The lawsuit stems from Google’s use of certain parts of Java in their Android mobile operating system. Oracle, who acquired Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion a few years ago, claims that Google didn’t obtain the necessary licenses to use Java in Android. The search giant says that Oracle can’t copyright certain parts of the “open-source” programming language.

When asked if he could cite another company that had used the “free” part of Java without licensing, Page replied that he was “not an expert” on the subject.

Oracle was initially seeking damages as high as $6.1 billion but Google narrowed the claims down from seven to only two patent violations. Oracle is now seeking around $1 billion in total damages from the search giant.

In a bit of related news, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was on the stand the day before where he told the court that his company considered entering the smartphone market but didn’t have the in-house expertise to create their own device. They looked at RIM and Palm as acquisitions but determined the BlackBerry maker was too expensive and Palm wasn’t competitive enough. In hindsight, those decisions likely were the right ones.

Reuters expects the trial to last up to eight weeks under US District Judge William Alsup in the District Court, Northern District of California.

User Comments: 4

Got something to say? Post a comment
John Bailo John Bailo said:

Google has no interest in pocket calculators except to see the prices plunge.

Apple stands in its way by making everything too expensive.

It's either Google...or Apple.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think he is trying to 'lessen' the importance of android in the eyes of jury, so in case they are found guilty of charge, the damages may not be significant at the same time probably 'indirectly' conceding the fact that they may be in some sort of trouble with regard to patents in question.

ViperSniper2 said:

The Onus is all on Oracle in proving first off that API's are no longer considered "Un-Copyrightable" and that's a very tall order, considering that many are required in order just to use the Java Language (Free and Open under GPL licensing). Making API's copyrightable would open up a whole giant Can of Worms for most all developers and programmers and be extremely detrimental innovation, even within Oracle itself!

Of course Attorney's never consider the long range effects of something as fundamental as the fact API's are functional rather than having any fixed physical properties. They are made of classes and libraries that describe methods or instructions to hardware as an interface between a program written in Free n Open Java language. The Java API's themselves were mostly already written prior to even the java language itself. It is the entire community that has contributed to the API's that actually own them when they are Open Source and part of the Java Programming language. Therefore Oracle is suing Google saying they own API's that are actually not owned by any individual or corporate entity.

Google themselves have contributed to the writing of some of these API's in question, that Sun Open Sourced themselves years ago. So if Oracle claims to own these API's they had better be ready to prove it. Because if they succeed in changing this widely held concept that API's are part of the programming language, and that they somehow own the API's just not the language, every tom, **** and harry contributor to these API's will be claiming to own the copyright to the portion they contributed and talk about fragmentation? You'd have to buy a Million Licenses just to be a Java Programmer! ......because just about everyone in the Java community can lay a claim to a piece of the Java pie and I'm not so sure Oracle could even be counted as owning the biggest piece of the 1000's of lines in the complete set of Java API's!

This judge will in no way allow his courtroom to become a circus side show for either Google or Oracle and that includes making sure what belongs to the Open Source community stays that way. This trial will be run by the letter of the law, not a bunch of Greedy Eyed Big Dollar Pipe Dreaming CEO's hoping to get a humongous settlement and return from them buying Sun in the first place. This Oracle suit is just so their share holders don't end up suing them for overspending their money on Sun that were destined for the scrap heap anyway!

....I mean how many of those so called "Billions of Java Installs" Oracle claims are actually running any java apps worth anything. Though we should all keep in mind that Oracle is also claiming all Android devices as running Java too. When in reality they do nothing of the sort. They are actually running a whole different "Runtime Virtual Machine" called Dalvik! ......and Dalvik is far more powerful anyway. Besides not being a registry based runtime like Java in the first place!!!!

TJGeezer said:

@ViperSniper2 - thank you for clarifying this situation. It smelled "off" to me, and I should have realized it was just Ellison and Oracle stinking up the coding kitchen. I wonder what arbitrarily destructive thing they'll do next to hurt the whole community. Gawd, Congress has made a mess of the patent and copyright laws! Damned lawyers.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.