SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc’s decision to use Oracle Corp’s intellectual property for its Android operating system was no accident but rather a conscious move made at the highest levels of the company, an attorney for Oracle said in court.
Opening statements in the high-stakes trial between Oracle and Google over smartphone technology began on Monday in a San Francisco federal court. Oracle sued Google in August 2010 over seven patents and copyright claims for the Java programming language.
According to Oracle, Google’s Android operating system tramples on its intellectual property rights to Java, which it acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010. Google says it does not violate Oracle’s patents and that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java.
The trial before U.S. District Judge William Alsup is expected to last at least eight weeks.
“This case is about Google’s use in Google’s business of somebody else’s property without permission,” Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs told jurors.
Google’s opening statement will begin on Tuesday morning.
A retired teacher, a U.S. postal worker and a store designer for Gap Inc were among the jurors selected on Monday to decide the case. The seven-woman, five-man jury also included a retired photographer, an avid hiker and a nurse.
Two computer engineers were dismissed from the pool of potential jurors, as were two attorneys.
Before jury selection began, Alsup warned both companies that he did not intend to keep sensitive financial information secret.
“This is a public trial,” he said.
Oracle said in a court filing on Sunday that it expected its chief executive officer, Larry Ellison, and Google CEO Larry Page to be among its first witnesses.
Ellison is no stranger to the courtroom, having testified in a 2010 trial involving copyright claims that Oracle brought against SAP AG. Oracle won a $1.3 billion verdict against SAP, but a judge reduced that amount by over $1 billion after trial. A retrial is scheduled for June.
Ellison will also testify about the importance of Java to Oracle’s business and the harm Android has caused the company, according to the witness list.
The testimony from Page, a relatively reclusive figure, could include details about Google’s business plan and marketing strategy for Android, including the company’s recent acquisition of Motorola, the witness list shows.
The trial will have three phases: copyright liability, patent claims, and damages. Page could also testify about revenue and profit projections for Android, including advertising revenue, the witness list said.
Early on, damage estimates ran as high as $6.1 billion. But Google has narrowed Oracle’s claims so that only two patents remain in the case, reducing the possible award. Oracle is seeking roughly $1 billion in copyright damages.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Oracle America, Inc v. Google Inc, 10-3561.
Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Richard Chang, Lisa Von Ahn and Prudence Crowther