Oracle wants to interview Google co-founder and chief executive Larry Page as part of efforts to gather evidence for its patent infringement claim against the Android platform.
In a nine-page letter to US judge Donna Ryu, Oracle also asked to interview former senior Google employees Dipchand Nishar and Bob Lee, as well as Android software engineer Tim Lindholm.
Google had rejected Oracle's request to allow these individuals to be interviewed, and the judge will decide whether or not to allow their testimony to be recorded before the end of fact discovery on 29 July.
In an attempt to persuade the judge, Oracle listed the reasons why it wants to take the testimony of each individual.
"[Larry Page] reportedly made the decision to acquire Android, and thereby develop and launch the platform that Oracle now contends infringes its patents and copyrights," the firm said.
"Page also participated in negotiations that took place between Sun and Google regarding a Java licence for Android and in subsequent communications with Oracle's chief executive, Larry Ellison, (whose deposition Google has requested)."
Oracle also believes that Page's testimony will be relevant in respect to a number of other issues including the value of the alleged infringement to Google.
Additionally, Oracle claims that the testimony of Tim Lindholm will be relevant to the liability and damages issues in this case, especially as Google disputes the $6bn amount that Oracle is claiming.
"Lindholm is an Android software engineer who was previously employed by Sun Microsystems. While at Sun, Lindholm contributed to certain Java technology at issue in this lawsuit," said Oracle.
"He constructed one of the very first Java virtual machines, and came to Google with intimate knowledge of the Java platform architecture."
Meanwhile, Nishar is believed to have been involved with strategic decisions relating to Google's mobile efforts, and former senior software engineer Lee "led the core library development for Android", according to Oracle.
Florian Mueller, a software patents expert, noted that requests to interview chief executives always draw a lot of interest and that, although Oracle's request is quite late, it could succeed.
"Oracle has a pretty good chance because the judge presiding over the case has shown - in a notice filed on Tuesday - an exceptionally strong interest in exactly the issues on which Page could testify," he said on the Foss Patents Blog.
"Larry Page could provide answers that relate to the base amount of those damages because he can testify on the value Google saw in Android when it made the decision to acquire it, as well as the possible tripling of such damages due to wilful infringement."
This is not the first time Oracle has requested the presence of a high-profile chief executive, having butted heads with HP when the latter tried to stop chief executive Léo Apotheker testifying in the TomorrowNow trial.
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