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

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."


Topics: Software Development, Open Source

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  • So...

    So Oracle's position has been reduced to arguing that, all along Sun had a perfect right to sue Google for "stealing" Java, but choose not to because their business strategy relied on not suing people who stole their IP.

    Basically, Oracle's lawyers have got a bridge to sell us...
    • That would be perfectly valid. Just because sun didnt want to because it

      would rather see java spread instead of windows doesnt mean oracle has to do the same thing if their business model is different. sun still never gave google java. Regardless he also said they were ok with them doing their own implementation if they didnt call it java, he didnt say it was okay for them to steal the source from suns implementation to use instead of building their own.
      Johnny Vegas
    • Actually,

      They have no position except one of a child kicking and screaming on the floor. Heck, they can't even demonstrate they own individual copyrights on the 37 APIs. I wonder why the Judge just doesn't dismiss this copyright phase and go to Patents. Heh, no 702 either.
    • Sun made everything but TDK freely available to lure developers in

      Sun made a perfectly rational decision, that the only way to steal (sorry... coudn't resist) business away from the desktop leader, Microsoft, was to come up with a platform that was free to all developers.
  • The personal attack against Jonathan Schwartz was uncalled for

    and will do Oracle no favours.

    Better to bring in former Sun managers (e.g., Rich Green, executive vice president of Sun's software) who held a different view towards Google's Dalvik.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Schwartz was a great CEO and a visionary

    who was forced out by the greedy Elli$son because Sun was trying to conduct its business according to the best FOSS practices.
    The Linux Geek
    • So google not opening their search algorithm is best FOSS practices? Or

      google not giving back to linux the thousands of bug fixes they've made in it? No google is no FOSS fanbois. They are out for themselves.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Have you heard the last minute news? ...

        from several months ago that Android Linux changes are merged into Linux kernel? :-)
        Solid Water
      • Johnny, no point in appointing yourself the moral judge of these companies

        No company is either entirely saint nor sinner. What matters here is to preserve the right of any developer to implement compatible versions of a software library.

        This is the heart of all software development. For example, anyone should be able to come up with their own version of a Postscript file viewer.
    • Poor Java.

      Poor Java.
      Bobby Fischer
  • But Florian Mueller says this doesn't matter!!!

    Oh noes, Florian Mueller wrong again? Florian Mueller is NEVER wrong!!!
    • FM is dead wrong

      always since it's paid by Oracle & M$.
      His latest lies at have been debunked at groklaw here:
      The Linux Geek
      • Actually, I hate to admit it, but I side with Florian on this

        His postings seem more reasonable... obviously both blogs have their bias, but at least Flori admits that "nobody knows how the jury will decide"
      • Florian has all the creditibikity of Lyndon Larouch

        The gentleman has all
      • Darn editor. The gentleman has the credibility of Lyndon Larouch.

        Why does anyone quote Mr. Mueller, except for laughs?
      • Oh.....

        Get a life.
        I'd like to see yuou show me where Oracle AND Microsoft paid anything. Once again you are full of s?it.
        After you do, you can go back and recompile your Linux binaries for the 2,565,434 time.

    Why are hey not making more of the fact that Oracle is suing Google for using code that Oracle provided backing for Apache to make (along with IBM and others) and that Oracle used themselves.
    That tells me several things, two of which are:

    1. Oracle had a very different opinion until the chance came to sue Google and fish for billions. Had they been asked if the API's were protected prior to the Sun purchase, they'd have had to say No otherwise they would have been guilty of infringement themselves. (see point 2.) for financing and using Apache Harmony.

    2. Oracle are guilty of the same copyright infringement they are accusing Google off. (Wonder if that means Mcneally and Schwarts can retroactively sue Oracle for Copyright infringement for being part of Harmony :-) )
  • Oracle's case took a huge hit...

    Oracle's lawyers just had an emotional response to their case being demolished. If I'm on the jury, Schwartz' testimony was the clincher.
  • schwartz

    anyone here who thinks Schwartz testimony was anything but him showing how much of a self-serving baffoon , has never met or worked with the man. he sold out his own company/partners when selling his company to sun, and subsequently, slimed his way to the CEO position through cunning and everybody who was worth anything just quit the more he rose to prominence with his nonsense.

    his blog was sun's policy? that blog that nobody read, and if you did, you were an idiot too. bigger tent? wtf is he talking about.

    he cares about one thing: himself.
  • Java GPL or not ?

    So can everyone in the world use Java under GPL now or not ?