In one of the most important legal battles to hit the technology world in recent years, the trial pitting Internet giant Google against software giant Oracle has begun.

The case, which begun in San Francisco this week, revolves around alleged patent and copyright abuse by Google while developing its Android operating system.

The core of the case relates to the Java software language which Oracle acquired in 2010 when it bought Sun Microsystems.

Oracle claims Google knowingly ignored the need to licence this software while developing its hugely successful Android platform, which is in use on over 300 million smartphones and tablets worldwide.

US District Judge William Alsup empaneled a jury of seven men and five women on the opening day of the trial, which could last up to ten weeks.

Oracle, in its opening statements, said: "You can't just step on somebody's intellectual property because you have a good business reason for it."

The trial continues today.