Google CEO Says Android OS is a Valuable Asset But Not Critical

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Google CEO said in courtroom testimony that the Android operating system for smartphones is a valuable asset for Google, but it is not critical,

Google CEO Larry Page took the stand for a second day on Wednesday in a high-stakes legal conflict with Oracle Corp over Android smartphone OS technology.

Oracle sued Google in August 2010 over Google’s Android smartphone operating system violates on its intellectual property rights to the Java programming language. Google says it does not infringe Oracle’s patents and that Oracle cannot copyright some parts of Java, an “open-source” software language.

Under questioning from Oracle’s lawyer,Larry Page said “Android was very important, but disputed the notion that it was critical”. He further said that “he would not be surprised if Google’s board was told that Android is critical to the company.”

The Google co-founder was wearing a gray suit with a tie, said that the search engine giant moved to make its own smartphone operating system, seven years ago because the technology at the time made it hard for consumers to make use of its online services on mobile phones.

“We had been really frustrated in getting our technology out to people,” Page said.

He said that Google would have preferred to have entered into a business partnership with Sun Microsystems, which developed Java and which Oracle acquired in 2010.

Such a deal would have saved Google’s time in its attempts to bring its software to market, Page said, but the companies could not come to terms on an agreement. Instead, Google opted to use what he referred to as the “free part” of Java.

Asked if he could quote an example of any other company besides Google that utilizes Java’s API technologies but had not taken a license from Oracle or Sun, Larry Page said he “was not an expert” on the matter.

The trial before US District Judge William Alsup is anticipated to last at least 8 weeks and will have appearances by prominent tech executives. On Tuesday, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison took the witness stand.

Early in the case, estimates of conceivable loses against Google Inc. ran as high as $6.1 billion. But the company has restricted Oracle’s allegations to only two patents from seven primarily, reducing the possible award. Oracle is looking roughly $1 billion in copyright loses.

Google’s Android OS, which the company allows handset manufacturers to make use for free, has become the No. 1 smartphone OS of the world and it is ahead of the Apple’s iOS popular OS.

Page also said “he was not aware of Google’s policies on the copying of the intellectual property of other companies. However, he said Google did nothing wrong.

“We were very careful about what information we used and what we did not use,” Page said.

In his testimony on Tuesday, Oracle CEO Ellison said his company had discovered building its own smartphone before deciding against the idea.

Google’s shares were down 0.3 per cent at $607.87 in afternoon trading whereas Oracle fell 0.4 per cent to $29.16.

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