You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Oracle considered building phone

SAN FRANCISCO - Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison wanted to compete against Google’s Android software in the smartphone market before deciding instead to sue his potential rival for copyright and patent infringement.

Ellison acknowledged to the jury that Oracle’s interest in diversifying beyond its main business of database software in testimony Tuesday, the second day of a trial in US District Court in San Francisco pitting two tech bellwethers.

Continue reading below

Before backing off the idea, Ellison said Oracle considered buying a smartphone maker, including Palm Inc. or BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. Palm ended up getting sold to Hewlett-Packard Co. for about $1 billion two years ago, while RIM is trying to recover from huge losses as its devices lose sales to Apple’s iPhone and handsets running Android.

“It was an idea I wanted to explore,’’ Ellison said. “We explored it and decided it was a bad idea.’’

Ellison took the stand after Google sought in opening statements to frame the case as Oracle’s response to its own failure to build mobile software. Google chief executive Larry Page also took the stand toward the end of Tuesday’s session. The trial was expected to last up to 10 weeks.

The dispute is over whether Google built its widely used Android software by improperly taking some of the technology from Java, a programming platform that Sun Microsystems began developing 20 years ago. Oracle acquired the rights to Java when it bought Sun for $7.3 billion in January 2010.

Although Oracle has spent more money buying other companies, Ellison depicted Java as the company’s most cherished prize.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.