Tuesday, 17 May 2016 10:08

Oracle CEO denies Sun purchase was in order to sue Google


Oracle chief executive Safra Catz told a trial in California on Monday that the database giant did not buy Sun Microsystems so it could sue Google.

Instead, Catz, said it was a defensive play intended to prevent IBM getting its hands on Sun as Oracle wanted to gain control of Java which it saw as a very important asset to bolster its business into the future.

The trial, the second between Google and Oracle, is trying to settle on what damages, if any, Google should pay Oracle for its use of 37 Java APIs in its Android mobile operating system. An earlier trial went overwhelmingly in favour of Google but one ruling — that APIs could not be copyrighted — was overturned on appeal by Oracle.

Catz also told Oracle's lawyers under questioning that when Oracle spoke to Sun chief executive Jonathan Schwartz he had said that the company had been trying to get Google to licence Java and that Android was an unauthorised fork of Java.

Earlier, as the trial entered its second week, there was continued testimony from former top Android developer Dan Borstein as well.

On Friday, Borstein had admitted that he removed references to Java in the Android code and told others to do the same.

Asked by Google's lawyer Christa Anderson about this so-called scrubbing, he said it was done to conform with trademark law of which he was aware, though he said he did not have a lawyer's understanding of it.

Borstein said most of the words were removed from the comments in the code; profanities, which are often found in comments in code, were also removed, he said.

Later when asked by Oracle lawyer Annette Hurst whether he had any samples of what he had removed, he answered in the negative.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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