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Google: Oracle failed in smartphones

Google and Oracle are battling in federal court this week, trying to resolve the thorny question of whether Google used illegal copies of Java software tool for its Android smartphone platform.

Two tech giants — Google chief executive Larry Page and Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison — took the stand Tuesday in a San Francisco courtroom.

Under questioning by Oracle attorney David Boies, Page said repeatedly that he knew little about the processes that went into developing Android, the San Jose Mercury News reported. “I think we did nothing wrong,” Page said.

According to a CNET report, Google argued that Java code was free and available to the public and then showed several slides documenting Oracle’s attempts to break into mobile — accompanied several times by the world “failed.”

Google attorney Robert Van Nest painted Oracle’s suit as a last-ditch effort from a company that couldn’t hack it in the smartphone market, the Mercury News reported. Under questioning, Ellison denied that claim but acknowledged that the firm had considered developing its own smartphone platform based on its Java programming language and had even considered acquiring a smartphone maker such as Research in Motion or Palm, which was snapped up by Hewlett-Packard in April 2010. The company had also formed an internal committee to look a launching a smartphone platform before deciding against it.

Ellison also acknowledged to Van Nest that he once told developers that “everyone should be flattered” that Android used the Java language and that the company filed the suit seeking $1 million in damages after Google rejected a proposal from Oracle proposal to use some Java components in Android, the Mercury News report said.

The court proceedings resume Wednesday.

Related stories:

Google denies stealing Oracle’s technology to develop Android

Oracle Corp.’s patent and copyright-infringement case against Google Inc.

Google and Oracle to face off in court in intellectual property case

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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