Trial: Former Sun CEO gets into catty fight with Oracle lawyer

Summary:Oracle's lawyers tried to redeem their case after the former Sun CEO's initial testimony in the IP case against Google.

SAN FRANCISCO -- In less than an hour, former Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz probably did more for Google's case than its lawyers have been able to do in the last nine days of the trial.

See alsoFormer Sun CEO: We would have paid Google for Java phone

During cross-examination, Oracle counsel Michael Jacobs questioned Schwartz about what he knew about Google's implementation of the 37 Java APIs in question in this lawsuit -- especially comparing the Android-Java case to Apache Harmony.

Schwartz explained that if the Apache Software Foundation wished to release a product, even if it implemented Java APIs through Apache Harmony, it could do so without a license -- so long as it does not call it Java.

"The Apache Foundation is totally free to ship their code into the market place," Schwartz said. "The only thing they can't do is call their product Java. We weren't going to give them a hall pass."

Continuing on, Jacobs showed emails to Schwartz written by Google senior vice president Andy Rubin in 2005 to other Google executives, reading that Google needed to get a license for Java.

Although Schwartz saw the emails for the first time on the stand, Schwartz remarked that Rubin "was inflating the right to implement those APIs and call them Java." Basically, Schwartz thought Rubin was making a big deal out of nothing, adding that the TCK was only necessary to label a product Java.

Yet, the cross-examination reached a heated impasse between Jacobs and Schwartz, to which Jacobs sternly concluded to the jury that Schwartz wasn't talking about Sun's legal position, but rather its business agenda.

Schwartz responded, "I don't think I'm qualified to speak as a lawyer," and he added that his point is that "we did have a business agenda."

Although he looked more agitated than Schwartz did, Jacobs pressed again firmly if Schwartz was focusing on "requirements for the brand -- not a view of Sun's legal position."

With more of a perturbed than flustered disposition, Schwartz replied, "I'm there to define our business strategy -- not to write our contracts."

When further interrogation over license issues didn't go anywhere, Jacobs and Schwartz entered into a more catty dialogue.

Essentially, Jacobs tried to takedown and discredit Schwartz's testimony by describing the end of his tenure -- or his downfall, depending on your perspective in this case -- at Sun when it was acquired by Oracle in 2010.

Jacobs asked if Schwartz was called to the stand on behalf of Google because its legal team thought it would help them. Schwartz replied with a slight smile that he was waiting for Oracle to invite him.

Furthermore, Jacobs asked if upon the closing of the Sun-Oracle merger if Schwartz had been terminated as CEO.

Switching from a frown to a faint grin, Schwartz replied, "I believe I resigned. They already had a CEO."

Related:

Topics: Software Development, Open Source

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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