Sun Co-Founder Scott McNealy Set to Testify at Oracle IP Trial

Sun Microsystems Inc. co-founder Scott McNealy will be called by Oracle Corp. (ORCL) today as a witness in a trial over claims that Google Inc. infringed intellectual property to develop Android software.

Fred Norton, an Oracle attorney, told U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco yesterday that McNealy will testify for the database maker, which alleges that Google infringed copyrights and patents for the Java programming language to build the Android operating system for mobile devices. Sun created the language, which is now Oracle’s property after its 2010 takeover of Sun.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt testified April 24 that Google wasn’t required to license the parts of Java that it used in Android and Sun made no demand for a license to use Java when the search engine company announced Android in 2007.

Sun and Google discussed a partnership in 2005 and 2006 to co-develop Android that would have required Google to license Java source code, Google executives have testified during the trial, which began April 16. Sun sought as much as $50 million from Google to use Java, Schmidt said.

“I’m worried how we are going to replace the revenue this is likely to submarine,” McNealy said in a February 2006 e-mail about the proposed partnership shown to the jury.

‘Risk With Java’

He supported taking a “risk with Java” to develop open source smartphone software, according to the e-mail. “I just need to understand the economics,” McNealy wrote.

The Sun co-founder saw the Android partnership with Google as a way to boost revenue, Schmidt told the jury.

“He understood the benefit of having a billion users,” Schmidt testified. “I took that to mean he wanted money.”

The partnership never materialized and Jonathan Schwartz, Sun’s chief executive officer when Android was introduced in 2007, congratulated Google on the software, Schmidt testified. Google will call Schwartz as a witness today, said Jim Prosser, a company spokesman, in an e-mail.

Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, is seeking $1 billion in damages and a court order blocking sales of Android, now running on more than 300 million smartphones, unless Mountain View, California-based Google pays for a license.

The case is Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc. (GOOG), 10-03561, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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