Google's Page claims little knowledge about Android, Java license talks

Summary:Google CEO Larry Page evades questioning from Oracle's legal team over how much knowledge he had in regards to discussions about Java licensing.

SAN FRANCISCO -- After video excerpts of his deposition were presented at trial on Tuesday morning, Google CEO Larry Page was on the stand in the intellectual property case against Oracle by the afternoon.

However, Page offered few concrete answers -- if any -- constantly reasserting that he had little knowledge about any discussions regarding Java licenses needed for Android during a presentation in July 2005 by Google senior vice president Andy Rubin and his team.

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Oracle attorney David Boies asked Page if he knew if some of Google's developers did have access to some intellectual property related to Java. Page replied, "I don't know anything about that."

Boise then pointedly asked Page, "Is it your testimony that you are unaware that certain lines of code in Android were copied symbol-for-symbol from Sun's intellectual property?"

Page replied that he knew there were "some disputes" about files, and that he once discussed this with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, asking for a copy of this information. Page asserted that he never received it because such evidence must not have been substantial enough.

This cat-and-mouse pattern continued as Boies questioned Page, "If you discovered that Android included some lines of code that had been literally copied from Sun's intellectual property, do you think that would be a violation of Google policy?"

Boies similarly asked, "Is there any circumstance that you could think of that is consistent with a clean-room where you could have line-for-line copying and be consistent with Google standards?"

To both questions, Page responded that it's hard to answer about hypothetical situations, but that such cases would be taken seriously, and he doesn't see any reason as to why such a circumstance wouldn't be possible.

Judge William Alsup called for a break during the middle of Page's examination by Oracle's lawyers. He will retake the stand on Wednesday morning.


Topics: Open Source, Google, Oracle, Developer


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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