updated 06:40 pm EDT, Fri April 27, 2012
Oracle and Google wrap up copyright arguments
Oracle and Google both rested their cases in the first of three trial phases for Oracle's lawsuit against Google over Android. The two sides shied away from the larger revelations and accusations, with Google mostly relying on expert testimony from Duke University's Dr. Owen Astrachan that portrayed the Java programming interfaces as basic fundamentals for programming rather than a copyrightable form. While Google could have reordered the structure of its custom code for Android, using a structure like Sun's and making the actual implementation different helped ease developers into the OS while purportedly having "completely different" code.
Oracle disagreed with this view, arguing that the interactions and planned effect were similar. CFO Safra Catz alleged that Google Senior VP Alan Eustace had said in meetings before the lawsuit that Google could have just removed Java from Android. The meetings were characterized as proof that Oracle "never wanted to be in this litigation," although Catz didn't explain why Sun didn't sue in the period before it was bought by Oracle.
Catz also spun Oracle's decision not to release its own official Java phone as a matter of unfair competition, arguing that it was "pretty hard to compete with free."
Judge William Alsup, in wrapping up immediately after the two cases, was careful to tell the jury that accusations of "greed" on either side's part didn't matter in the final decision. The two sides present their closing arguments on Monday, potentially delaying to Tuesday, with a decision on copyright issues possibly coming as soon as the same week.
The initial phase may be critical for Google, as it will help decide whether or not the company tries to persevere in the trial or makes concessions for a settlement. A determination that Android violates Oracle's Java copyrights would guarantee at least some damages, while exoneration could see Google take its chances on the patent and damages phases in the hopes of either being found completely innocent or else pushing Oracle to settle for much less. [via Reuters and The Verge]