Oracle wants to call Larry Page

Oracle’s legal team appears to be playing out a strategy which worked for it in its battle against SAP.

In that case it caused HP’s new CEO Léo Apotheker to go into hiding so that he could not be forced to appear in the case. Apotheker was the CEO of SAP before taking up his role as HP’s action man.

It turned out that Apotheker was not really needed for the case as he had made most of his evidence in writing, but the fear of going into the dock was pretty powerful.

Now, according to court papers seen by Reuters, Oracle has decided that it wants to question Google Inc Chief Executive Larry Page in the course of high stakes patent litigation between the two companies.

Oracle claims that Google’s Android mobile operating technology infringes upon Oracle’s Java patents.

Oracle requested the court’s permission to take Page’s deposition, saying he made the decision to acquire Android and participated in negotiations that took place between Sun and Google regarding a Java licence for Android, and in subsequent communications with Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison.

In some respects this is all “tit for tat”. Google has sent a notice that it wants Ellison in a deposition to answer questions under oath. However, in the Oracle case it has come much later in the proceedings and appears to have been an after-thought.

Google called Oracle’s request harrassment because it could get the same information from other sources.

Oracle delayed taking depositions, and now needs the court’s permission to take more, Google argued.