SAN FRANCISCO --Google commenced with presenting its case in its intellectual property trial against Oracle at the U.S. District Court on Tuesday morning, starting with calling executive chairman Eric Schmidt as its first witness.
A few of your alliance partners have reached out to us to build a "separate but equal" effort -- we would love, having seen this movie a few times before, to have one big tent, rather than a hundred little ones… and we can obviously bring a global Java community to the party.
Schmidt said he understood Schwartz to be speaking here (as well as on an post on Schwartz's blog in November 2007, seen in the screenshot below) to the collection of companies that implement Java.
Along with staying in contact with both Schwartz and McNealy to discuss Android, Schmidt also confirmed that Google and Sun still had a business relationship. Schmidt explained that Google had a toolbar that worked on personal computers.
"As part of Java distribution that Sun did, our toolbar was included in their Java distribution," Schmidt said. "We paid a fee to Sun to distribute that toolbar."
Schmidt asserted it was a good deal for both parties.
Most importantly to Google's case, Schmidt confirmed that in his discussions with Schwartz, questions about Java licensing never came up.
"My understanding is that what we were doing was permissible because of the sum of my experiences and interactions I had," Schmidt concluded, explaining that he was "very comfortable that what we were doing was both legally correct and consistent" with the policies of Sun at the time as well as Google.
During cross-examination, Google counsel David Boies commenced by telling Schmidt that he got the impression that Schmidt had "many conversations" with Schwartz that he knew what Google was doing with Java.
Schmidt affirmed this to some extent, describing a meeting with Schwartz at the Sun Microsystems cafeteria in Menlo Park several years ago.
Boies read back a line from Schmidt's deposition on August 23, 2011, when Schmidt replied it was his opinion at the time that "Sun management was comfortable with what we had done."
In that deposition, Schmidt also noted that he "spoke with Jonathan Schwartz a couple of times in the preceding years," but that no one else was present to their conversations and he couldn't remember where they met -- except once in his office at Sun and a few times over the phone.
Despite the discrepancy, on the stand, Schmidt affirmed that he still stood by that testimony.
Schmidt appeared unaware of the article and the points in it, saying, "I have no recollection of that."
Boies asked Schmidt if it was true in 2009 that Google was sufficiently worried that it would be sued to the point where it wanted to buy all of the rights to Java. Schmidt initially affirmed this, but backtracked and asked Boies to be more specific as to what "Google" meant.
Nevertheless, Schmidt didn't entirely back down from his initial answer, saying "I'm always open to trying anything to make progress."