Google Inc. is fighting what it calls Oracle Corp.’s “harassing demand” for a deposition of Chief Executive Officer Larry Page as part of Oracle’s multibillion-dollar lawsuit alleging the Android operating system infringes its Java patents, according to a court filing.
Page “participated in negotiations that took place” between Sun Microsystems and Google regarding a Java license for Android and his testimony is relevant to “the value of the infringement to Google,” Oracle said in a letter jointly filed by the companies yesterday with U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu in San Francisco.
Google’s opposition to Page’s deposition is “manifestly inconsistent” with its own notice to depose Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Oracle said in the letter.
Taking a sworn statement from Page would be ‘superfluous” and “duplicative” given testimony already available from other witnesses, Google said in the joint letter to the judge.
Google has offered to withdraw its notice to depose Ellison if Oracle doesn’t intend to call him as a witness at trial, and Oracle rejected that proposal, the search engine company said in the filing. A similar agreement was reached as to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, according to the letter.
Oracle is seeking as much as $6.1 billion in damages in a patent- and copyright-infringement lawsuit against Google that claims the search-engine company’s Android software uses technology related to the Java programming language, according to court papers.
Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, got Java when it bought Sun Microsystems in January 2010. The company sued Google the following August, seeking a court ruling that would ban further use of its intellectual property and force the destruction of all products that violate Java-related copyrights on the code, documentation and specifications.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, said in court filings that the patents are invalid and not infringed and that users of the Android platform have a license to any patents in the case. It said Oracle made general copyright-infringement claims with nothing to back them up.
Deborah Hellinger, an Oracle spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message after regular business hours yesterday. An e-mail to Google’s press office after regular business hours wasn’t immediately returned.
The case is Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., 10-03561, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).