Oracle CEO Safra Catz: Oracle didn't buy Sun to sue Google

Sun's Java technology was crucial to Oracle's business, the CEO said on Day 6 of the Oracle v. Google trial.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Oracle decided to purchase Sun Microsystems in 2009 because Java technology was crucial for Oracle's business -- not because the software giant wanted to sue Google, Oracle CEO Safra Catz said on the stand in a U.S. District Court on Monday.

After the acquisition, "we announced we thought Java was the single most important software asset Oracle had ever acquired," Catz testified on Day 6 of the Oracle v. Google trial.

Oracle in 2010 sued Google for copyright infringement after the internet company used 37 Java API packages in the development of Android -- without paying licensing fees to Sun. A federal appeals court has already ruled that the APIs were, in fact, protected under copyright law, but Google is now arguing that its use of the code amounted to "fair use." Oracle is seeking $9.3 billion in damages from Google.

Asked explicitly whether Oracle purchased Sun to start its legal battle with Google, Catz said, "No. We did not buy Sun to file this lawsuit."

Earlier in the trial, Google suggested otherwise: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison "figured out that he couldn't use Java to build a smartphone, and it was too late to partner with Google," Google attorney Robert Van Nest told the jury last week. "That's when this claim first arose. That's when this lawsuit started."

Oracle on Monday also turned to Catz to push back against testimony from former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, who served as a Google witness last week. Schwartz asserted that Google could use the Java APIs freely, but Catz said she learned of "battles" with Google during Oracle's acquisition of Sun. Asked whether Schwartz ever suggested Google's use of Java in Android was "ok with Sun," Catz said, "No."

Editorial standards