Jury selection in a high-stakes dispute over smartphone technology between Oracle Corp and Google Inc kicked off on Monday morning, starting a trial that could reveal financial details about the Android operating system.
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Oracle sued Google in August 2010 over seven patents and copyright claims for the Java programming language. According to Oracle, Google's Android operating system tramples on its intellectual property rights to Java, which it acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems.
Google says it does not violate Oracle's patents and that Oracle cannot copyright certain parts of Java.
The trial before District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco is expected to last at least eight weeks. Dozens of potential jurors streamed into a packed courtroom on Monday morning.
Before they arrived, Alsup warned both companies that he did not intend to keep sensitive financial information secret.
"This is a public trial," he said.
Oracle said in a court filing on Sunday that it expected its chief executive officer, Larry Ellison, and Google CEO Larry Page to be among its first witnesses.
Ellison is no stranger to the courtroom, having testified in a 2010 trial involving copyright claims that Oracle brought against SAP AG.
Oracle lawyer Michael Jacobs said on Monday that Ellison was likely to cite Java as the most important reason for the company's purchase of Sun.
Ellison will also testify about the importance of Java to Oracle's business and the harm Android has caused the company, according to the witness list.
The testimony from Page, a much more reclusive figure than Ellison, could include details about Google's business plan and marketing strategy for Android, including the company's recent acquisition of Motorola, the witness list shows.
The trial will have three phases: copyright liability, patent claims and damages. Page could also testify about revenue and profit projections for Android, including advertising revenue, the witness list said.
Early on, damages estimates ran as high as $6.1 billion. But Google has narrowed Oracle's claims so that only two patents remain, reducing the possible award. Oracle is seeking roughly $1 billion in copyright damages.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Oracle America, Inc v. Google Inc, 10-3561.