Oracle recalls Google engineer Lindholm in trial's patent phase

Summary:Oracle cuts to the chase in phase two of the trial, recalling Google engineer Tim Lindholm back to the stand.

SAN FRANCISCO -- After previously testifying in the copyrights phase of Oracle v. Google in April, Google engineer Tim Lindholm was recalled to the stand at the U.S. District Court of Northern California on Tuesday morning as Oracle's first witness in phase two of the trial covering patent infringement.

See alsoGoogle: We developed Android not knowing Sun's patents

Representing Oracle, Fred Norton of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP repeatedly asked Lindholm questions along the lines of whether or not he was the only person responsible for work on Java virtual machines and related innovations, following up with the implication that Lindholm certainly couldn't have been the only one. Lindholm always concurred that he wasn't the only one.

Lindholm also confirmed that Google senior vice president Andy Rubin recruited him to work as an Android project advisor in 2005.

It was unclear at first where Oracle's counsel was going with this train of thought. Yet Norton then proceeded to cite several other former Sun engineers that worked on Java virtual machines who later worked at Google.

Norton also did his best to skirt around an email exchange involving Lindholm and Rubin that played a large role in the first phase of the trial but has been since banned by Judge William Alsup, who once commented that Oracle had "beaten that to death."

Nevertheless, it seemed to be a case where Oracle has plenty more where that came from. Norton managed to call up several more email threads.

Starting with an email from August 2005, Norton highlighted one in which Lindholm responded to Rubin that he was interested in working on Android, commenting "sign me up."

Norton followed up with another email from November 2005 with the title "Another thought on Sun motivation." In that exchange, Lindholm wrote about different implementations. Rubin replied with the note, "our guys implementing that later, for the isolation and resource management arguments."

Lindholm responded in that thread, "We need to make sure that whatever license Sun proposes still allows you to do that."

Norton wanted to know if Rubin was referring to the implementation of a Java virtual machine, but Lindholm couldn't exactly confirm.

Norton later pointedly asked Lindholm if he had participated in a meeting with other Google employees about Java lawsuits and what to do about them.

"I don't remember such a meeting," Lindholm replied.

Norton attempted to follow up his question by admitting another email into evidence to prove Lindholm was contradicting his testimony, to which Google objected.

Alsup debated whether or not to admit it into evidence, but Lindholm was instructed to read his responses aloud. In one of the threads, Lindholm had written that he agreed to go to a meeting. But on the stand, Lindholm said he wasn't sure if he attended.

Nevertheless, also during a very brief round of cross-examination, Lindholm asserted that he hasn't been apart of any design work on Android, including the Dalvik virtual machine.

Since starting at Google in July 2005, Lindholm further explained that his personal work has not had anything to do with Java, and that he has only written "a few lines" of Java code in the last seven years.

However, this probably won't be the last we'll see of Lindholm, who has turned out to be a prominent figure in this case.

Oracle lawyers have placed Lindholm on recall in case they need him in phase three of the trial, which would cover damages. That phase is still up in the air while Google tries to make a case for a mistrial for phase one.

Related:

Topics: Google, Android, Mobile OS, Oracle, Patents

About

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, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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