The ongoing case that has pitted Oracle against Google over Java patent infringements in the Android operating system has not disappointed with interesting revelations being made by both sides as the proceedings commence. Yesterday Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison took to the witness stand to provide testimony in support of his company and made an interesting revelation.
According to Ellison, Oracle had considered jumping into the mobile smartphone space and had BlackBerry maker RIM in their sights as well as smartphone maker Palm. Ellison revealed further that the reason he did not go ahead with the push to get into the smartphone market was that RIM was too expensive (it is currently valued at some $7 billion) while Palm was not aggressive enough in the smartphone market.
It may be that Oracle is now very relieved that it did not purchase RIM or Palm as both companies have not quite made it in the smartphone arena. However, Google counsel hit back by saying the reason why Oracle purchased Java was because it was unable to get into the smartphone market and so wanted leverage to get back at companies in the smartphone space.
Google co-founder Larry Page also took the stand and defended Google by saying the company had done nothing wrong by using the Java coding language as a basis for Android. Last week, the judge issued a ruling asking both parties to respond with a Yes/No response as to whether it was possible to patent a programming language.
The argument being, in linguistics, people patent works of writing but not the language itself. Meaning Oracle seeking patent protection for Java is tantamount to someone seeking patent protection for say the English language. This puts Oracle in a tricky position as it goes unsaid that coding languages cannot obtain a patent and are universally open standards. The hearings continue tomorrow and there are bound to be some other interesting revelations made.