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Google CEO Larry Page grilled in Oracle case over Java

April 18, 2012|By Jessica Guynn
  • Google Chief Executive Larry Page arriving at the San Francisco federal building on Wednesday.
Google Chief Executive Larry Page arriving at the San Francisco federal… (Eric Risberg / Associated…)

Google Inc. Chief Executive Larry Page returned to the witness stand for nearly an hour in a San Francisco federal courtroom Wednesday to defend his company against allegations that its Android mobile software, which now powers more than 300 million smartphones and tablet computers, infringes on Oracle Corp.’s patents and copyrights.

Page, in a rare appearance in suit and tie, was questioned by David Boies, famous for going after Bill Gates during the federal government’s antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. Page quickly left the federal courthouse after his testimony and refused to answer questions.

Page admitted that Google never obtained a license for using Java, a programming language that Oracle picked up when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010, but said he did not think Google needed one.

Page, who rarely made eye contact with Boies and appeared ill at ease, did not give many direct answers to questions that the Oracle attorney posed, denying he knew details of documents and negotiations, even frustrating the federal judge presiding over the case, William Alsup.

Page said Google worked hard to negotiate an agreement with Sun Microsystems.  He was more comfortable in fielding questions from Google attorney Robert Van Nest.

He began his testimony in the case Tuesday before court recessed. The trial began Monday and could last for as long as 10 weeks.

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