Ex-Sun chief supports Google in Oracle trial

Oracle may have hit a roadblock in its trial against Google over Java licensing issues in Android. Former Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz took the stand today as a witness for the defense, disputing Oracle's claims that the Java APIs in question were Sun's proprietary code.

When asked by Google's counsel Robert Van Nest whether the Java APIs were considered proprietary and protected by Sun, Schwartz explained that "these are open APIs, and we wanted to bring in more people...we wanted to build the biggest tent and invite as many people as possible."

Schwartz's support for Android promoting Java has been documented by blog posts, which Oracle has tried to hide as it could indicate that the legal threats only began after Oracle bought Sun. Oracle's case against Google is that the Android platform has violated the Java patents and copyrights that it acquired from Sun for $7.4 billion back in 2010.

Schwartz's testimony could undermine Oracle's case by saying that no paid licenses were required in the first place. Oracle's counsel Mike Jacobs tried to argue that Schwartz's business strategy during his tenure as Sun CEO was disconnected from what Sun should have been doing, which is to uphold its legal rights to the proprietary Java code.

[via CNET]