SAN FRANCISCO – Oracle and Google closed their respective cases in the copyright portion of an ongoing legal battle over Google's Android mobile phone software Monday, leaving a jury to decide on one half of a high-profile trial over the alleged infringement of Oracle's Java copyrights and patents.
Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs closed his client's copyright case by arguing Google's defense amounted to a series of insufficient excuses for pilfering Java in order to build Android, which has since become the most popular smartphone software platform in the world.
TECH TRIAL OF THE CENTURY: Oracle has accused Google of patent infringement over Google's Android, the mobile OS that now powers more than 300 million smartphones and tablets.
Jan. 27, 2010: Oracle closes deal to buy Sun Microsystems, gets the Java programming language.
Aug. 12: Oracle sues Google in U.S. District Court, says Android infringes on Java.
Sept. 12, 2011: Company CEOs are ordered to attend mediation to settle the lawsuit.
March 27, 2012: In a joint statement, companies say they are far apart. Oracle seeks hundreds of millions in damages, Google won't pay more than a few million.
April 16: Trial begins. In opening statements, Oracle says Google's top executives have long known that they stole a key piece of tech.
April 17: Google's opening statements frame the case as Oracle's response to its own failure to build mobile software. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison admits he wanted to compete before deciding instead to sue Google.
April 18: Google's Larry Page returns to the witness stand, looking uncomfortable as he deflected questions about his role.
Monday: Lawyers make closing arguments on the copyright issues. Judge sends case to jury for deliberation.
Source: The Associated Press
"We need the help of the justice system to enforce our intellectual property rights," Jacobs told the jury.
Google attorney Robert Van Nest countered that the Internet search giant merely interpreted a small portion of Java open to public use in order to build the sort of successful mobile software that Oracle and Sun had failed to develop on their own.
While Van Nest conceded Google did once have a small amount of proprietary Java code in Android, it was so minimal as to be "not a big deal whatsoever."
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Oracle bought Sun and Sun's Java technology in early 2010. Later that year, Oracle sued Google, alleging Android infringes copyrights and patents that protect Java. The companies went to trial in San Francisco earlier this month.
After the jury deliberates over Oracle's copyright claims, the trial will shift to patents. A third, damages phase related to both copyrights and patents could follow as part of a trial expected to last two months.
During his closing argument, Google attorney Van Nest leaned heavily on the testimony of former Sun Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz, who had said Sun had no grounds to sue Google over Android. Schwartz, as Google's attorneys stressed, publicly praised Android.
Read more on the $1 billion lawsuit at the Wall Street Journal.