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Brash Android Emails Could Prove Very Costly For Google

Who needs a “a hostile, organised campaign” to hamper Android? Google’s own internal documents, now seemingly pivotal in its intellectual property court case with Oracle, are doing the job quite well already.

One such document, referred to as the “Lindholm Draft” after the engineer who created it, reads:

“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 licence for Java under the terms we need.”

It was written last year and has taken on a tone of great importance for Judge Alsup, who commented in an earlier hearing that an accomplished lawyer would need only that document “and the Magna Carta” to win the case and prove “willful infringement.” What’s that mean? Well, not only would it make the whole “everyone is out to get us with patents” argument Google made the other day completely laughable, it would also mean tripling the already steep billion-dollar-plus damages demanded by Oracle.

Another document, nearly five years old, could prove to be the email double team Oracle’s lawyers need to really stick it to Google and Android. Written by Android founder Andy Rubin, the email basically adopts a “let’s infringe Java and see what happens” attitude. Such an attitude would have been very beneficial for Google and the Android team, Mueller notes, because so much code and development work had already been completed using Java at that time. A move to .NET/C# would have been incredibly costly and time-consuming, and from the looks of things Rubin and company had decided that the speedier, riskier approach was the more beneficial one.

Taken together with the Lindholm message, this would suggest that the other platforms didn’t necessarily “suck” because they were inferior, they “sucked” because Google didn’t want to derail development and start anew.

Google, unsurprisingly, has moved to surpress this evidence from trial. [FOSS Patents]