Oracle v Google court case begin - Android could lose millions, even if it wins
Big things are going down in the technology world, but this time, it isn't anything to do with the release of a new gadget. Rather, there's a huge court case kicking off between Oracle and Google. It may not seem like much on paper, but it could pose huge problems for Google.
To put it simply, Oracle are going to try and convince a judge and jury that Google knew it was misusing intellectual property for their Android smartphones. If Oracle fail in their attempts to prove this massive claim, then their control over the Java programming language would be considerably weakened. If Google lose, we're looking at a billion-dollar payout.
Even if Google win this fight, they still look like they'll lose out. Their business plans for Android, revenues, profits and more, would be likely to be laid bare in the court. This is something Google haven't been too keen to talk about over the years. US district judge William Alsup is on record saying that sensitive information will be aired, as "this is a public trial" he said.
The trial began yesterday, with Oracle's lawyer - Michael Jacobs - stating that Google's top executives have known that they stole a key piece of technology to build the Android software for some time. That piece of technology is now part of more than 300m smartphones and tablets.
"We will prove to you from beginning to end … that Google knew it was using someone else's property," Jacobs said in his opening statement. Basically, Oracle think that Android infringes on the patents and copyrights of Java, which Oracle bought from Sun Microsystems for $7.3bn. Oracle have said in the past that they reckon they're owed $6.1bn, not to mention future licensing deals.
This is big, big trouble for Google. Apple must be beside themselves with glee.