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Oracle v Google: Lindholm takes the stand in Java trial

Insists 'smoking email' has been misinterpreted

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The Google engineer who wrote a contentious email that Oracle is hinging part of its Java patent case on has said that his words are being misconstrued.

Timothy Lindhom, a former Sun engineer who joined Google in 2005, wrote an email in 2010 to Andy Rubin, head of the Android team, saying he had been asked to look into alternatives to using Java in Google's mobile operating system.

"What we've actually been asked to do (by Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin]) is to investigate what technical alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome. 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," he wrote.

Oracle has made many references to this email in the four days the trail has been running, and fought hard to include it in the trial, seeing it as evidence that Google was aware of Java code being integrated into Android.

Not so says Lindholm.

When Oracle's lawyer David Boies asked him if this meant he was recommending that Google purchase a license for Java from Sun, Lindholm replied in the negative.

"No, it was not," he said, Bloomberg reports. "It wasn’t specifically a license from anyone."

The email came up extensively yesterday, when Google CEO Larry Page was questioned repeatedly on the topic. He said then that he didn’t recall the seeing email and only vaguely remembered Lindholm. He was warned by the trial judge that he should expect to be asked back to the court to answer further questions. ®

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