SAN FRANCISCO – Oracle commenced with its rebuttal case in the first phase of the Oracle-Google trial on Friday.
At this point, Oracle’s arguments come down to this: Google was lazy in developing Android and wanted the highest revenue return possible, so that’s why it used the 37 Java APIs at question in this copyright lawsuit.
Well, no one at Google is going to deny that they wanted Android to make money — although they might dance around how successful Android has been in order to save face in front of the jury.
Oracle led with a video clip from the deposition of Google’s senior financial analyst for Android, Aditya Agarwal, on April 8, 2011.
The point of the clip, which ran for less than a minute and a half just to identify the witness to the jury and get one question out, was very clear. When asked, Agarwal affirmed that Android is hugely profitable.
That’s not exactly breaking news, but the Oracle’s ambition in this regard was clear from the get-go. In fact, Oracle might need to hold onto this strategy desperately over the course of the next couple of days after a tension-filled hour in which former Sun CEO’s Jonathan Schwartz nearly torpedoed their entire case that the Java APIs weren’t free to use without a license.
Oracle’s legal team might have made a brief comeback with help from Sun co-founder Scott McNealy, whose testimony is actually part of the rebuttal, but because of scheduling conflicts he appeared while Google was still presenting its case. During his time on the stand, McNealy’s testimony essentially contradicted everything Schwartz said, which might have left the jury fairly confused on who to believe.
Furthermore, Oracle recalled Dr. Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group at Oracle, who already testified once for Oracle on April 18.
Bringing up that there has been some debate over using the term “blueprint” to refer to APIs, Oracle counsel Michael Jacobs asked Reinhold if this was an accurate description.
Reinhold stood by using the term blueprint to describe APIs, explaining that “the whole point of the Java community process is to be designing blueprints so companies can develop competing implementations.”
Google counsel Bruce Baber tried to refute this, questioning Reinhold that the API specification doesn’t tell one how to write the code.
Reinhold admitted that it doesn’t.
Reinhold’s testimony was also used to make another one of Oracle’s points clear: Google took the easy way out in developing Android.
When asked if a developer already has a good API design and if implementing an existing API design is more work, Reinhold explained that it’s a “relatively easier job” and “it’s almost always less” work.
Closing statements from both Oracle and Google are expected to start on Monday. After that, the jury will have time to deliberate a verdict for the copyrights portion of the trial.
Judge Alsup predicted on Wednesday that the jury will probably only take about a day and a half to reach a decision, but he warned that they could take up to a week.
On Friday, the judge added with a warning to both legal teams about getting evidence in on time, “When the case goes to them, the case is in their hands — including when they make the decision.”