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20 April 2012, 16:31

Oracle and Google trial: day 4

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In Oracle's court case against Google about alleged patent and copyright infringements in Android, the parties have fought over hardly any document as fiercely as they have over the so-called "Lindholm email". Yesterday, on the fourth day of the trial, its author was called as a witness.

After Google executives Larry Page and Sergey Brin had asked him to look into technological alternatives to using Java in Android, Tim Lindholm wrote to Andy Rubin on 6 August 2010: "We've been over a bunch of these, and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need." Lindholm had been a Distinguished Engineer at Sun before joining Google and is a co-author of the Java Virtual Machine specification.

According to a report by Bloomberg on Oracle attorney David Boies's cross-examination of Lindholm, the Google engineer refused to confirm that his email meant he recommended acquiring a licence from Sun. Boies asked: "When you referred to a licence, was it a licence from Sun?", to which Lindholm replied: "No, it was not." He added that "it wasn't specifically a licence from anyone". Lindholm didn't explain what the sentence could have meant.

Before the trial started, Google had repeatedly tried to exclude Lindholm's email from proceedings. In early February 2012, a US federal court finally rejected its motion to exclude. On day three of the court proceedings, Google CEO Larry Page had claimed to not know who Tim Lindholm was.

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