Oracle CFO: We didn't want this lawsuit with Google

Oracle's Safra Catz tries to refute Google's claims that Oracle initiated the lawsuit because it couldn't compete in the mobile OS market.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Oracle Chief Financial Officer and President Safra Catz made an appearance on the stand at the U.S. District Court this morning, testifying for Oracle's rebuttal case in its intellectual-property trial against Google.

After Judge William Alsup asked at one point during the plaintiff's questioning why Catz was called, Oracle counsel Marc David Peters said that it was to prove that Oracle wasn't suing Google because it couldn't compete in the mobile market.

Despite an objection from Google counsel Christa Anderson, Judge Alsup overruled the motion, instructing the jury that the motives here are "irrelevant," and what matters here are both parties' legal rights.

Peters started by asking Catz if she was familiar with the Apache Harmony project and asked if Oracle ever used or contributed to the open-source project.

Catz replied that Oracle never supplied any financial or technical resources, nor did Oracle ever consider it.

"We didn't need to as we had our own independent implementation, and we had a license from Sun," Catz added.

Furthermore, Catz said that Oracle reached out to Google "a number of times" after the Sun Microsystems acquisition in January 2010 to "get this matter resolved."

"We never wanted to be in this litigation with Google," Catz said.

Catz noted that she had been in at least four meetings to resolve its issues with Google out of court, describing that Oracle had two objectives: Make Android compatible with the Java community as well as get Android licensed for Java and paying for the intellectual property.

Peters highlighted an e-mail conversion from Google's Alan Eustace to Catz on June 28, 2010, which included the following excerpt:

We will not pay for code that we are not using, or license IP that we strongly believe we are not violating, and that you refuse to enumerate. Google engineers spent considerable time and effort building from scratch open source alternative to closed systems.

Peters asked Catz if Oracle took any further steps to resolve the dispute with Google after this e-mail, and if those conversations were successful.

Catz answered that that she thought there were a few more attempts, but obviously they weren't successful.

"No, that's why we're here," Catz added.

Upon cross-examination, Catz acknowledged that she had no personal knowledge of what Sun told Google prior to acquisition.

In line with the more personal questioning similar to what was seen during former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz's testimony yesterday, Anderson asked Catz how many shares she has at Oracle.

Catz admitted that she has roughly $18 million in shares, adding that she is "truly the American dream."

But when asked if the only person with more Oracle shares than her was CEO Larry Ellison, Catz was a bit confused, saying that as far as employees go, that might be true but that there are "a number of a folks" on a personal basis with more shares.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline Oracle CFO: We never wanted this lawsuit with Google."

 

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