Oracle considered buying RIM and/or Palm

In another world, we might be talking about an Oracle-branded smartphone.

The enterprise software giant apparently seriously considered buying a mobile company in an effort to develop a brand new hardware initiative.

As an outsider, one of the coolest things about high-profile corporate lawsuits is that little details about the inner workings of the companies are revealed. One such tidbit that was discussed in the epic battle between Oracle and Google is that Oracle at some point seriously considered buying either Research in Motion or Palm as part of an unfulfilled strategy to build its own smartphone.

During today’s cross-examination, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison told the court, “We explored the idea [of creating a smartphone] and decided it would be a bad idea.”

According to his testimony, RIM wanted too much money, and even though it would have probably been easy to swoop up Palm, it decided that Palm didn’t bring enough to the table to be worthwhile. So it looks like Oracle won’t be entering the hardware market any time soon.

It still has a solid place in the mobile world though. This lawsuit came about because Oracle accused Google because it claims the search giant is using technology owned by Oracle patents and copyrights.

These cases, especially when it’s two huge companies, are usually settled out of court, so the fact that it is actually in the trial phase right now is a testament to how important the allegations are.