Patent battles don't get much more serious than this. A U.S. magistrate has ordered Google
At issue is Java, the platform and programming technology the database king acquired when it spent $7.4 billion on Sun Microsystems in 2009. Oracle says Android infringes on Java patents originally issued to Sun for the way that it translates Java code before executing it inside a built-in virtual machine.
Google, naturally, disagrees, and no less than Java creator James Gosling sided with the Big G after taking a job there. He's since moved on to become the chief software architect for a start-up called Liquid Robotics.
Not that it would matter if he were still at Google. The company's attempts to make Andy Rubin, its top Android executive, face off against Ellison failed when Oracle complained to the court. So now it's Larry vs. Larry -- the rookie (Page) versus the legend (Ellison), whose reputation for ruthlessness is well known.
Just ask SAP
Meanwhile, Page isn't even a year into his new role as Google CEO. He's been canceling some projects, beefing up others, and in the process aiming squarely for Facebook and other would-be social-media rivals.
I get the sense that Page didn't offer Rubin as Google's representative to insult Oracle -- although it was taken that way. I think he bowed out because (a) he doesn't believe that negotiating with Oracle is a priority, and (b) he'd rather not negotiate with a company known for getting its way.
Perception matters here. Google investors aren't just betting on the business; they're betting on Page and his ability to win while going up against tough competitors such as Apple, Microsoft, and, yes, Oracle. What if Ellison beats him the way he beat SAP? I hope you're prepared, Mr. Page. The outcome of this dispute matters a lot more than you may think.
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Fool contributorTim Beyers is a member of theMotley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple, Google, and Oracle at the time of publication. Check out Tim'sportfolio holdings andFoolish writings, or connect with him onGoogle+ or Twitter, where he goes by@milehighfool. You can also get his insightsdelivered directly to your RSS reader.
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