Oracle tries to resurrect third patent against Android

Oracle tries to resurrect third patent against Android
Oracle received a late present in their patent lawsuit against Android, but did their first bit of good patent news in half a year come in time? Up until last week, Oracle had a perfect streak of losses in their patent suit – the United States Patent and Trademark Office had invalidated all but two of the patents in their case against Android. We reported that the last round of patents were a “final” ruling, but that Oracle could still appeal the USPTO's findings if they wished.

Appeals of final USPTO rulings don’t have a good track record, and at the time Oracle had not succeeded in getting a single rejection reversed on appeal. But their luck finally seemed to change last week with patent #5,966,702. The so-called ‘702 patent is often referred to as the “Gosling patent” after its inventor (and the father of Java) James Gosling.

It should be noted that the patent was not so much “validated”, as much as the USPTO found that the prior art claims made by Google did not hold up on appeal. Whether the patent should have been issued in the first place was not ruled on, but would presumably require a completely new round of investigation by the USPTO to address.

The findings may not help Oracle though, due to the timing of the USPTO’s reversal. Oracle agreed to drop several patents with prejudice (meaning they gave up the right to ever assert them against Google again), but reserved the right to reinstate the Gosling patent if the USPTO were to overturn its findings prior to the trial. Judge Alsup accepted this stipulation, and in his ruling specified that the trial would officially begin on April 16th.

That means that last week’s reversal by the USPTO came after the deadline to assert the patent. Oracle has filed a brief claiming that their understanding was that they could still assert it up until the patent portion of the trial beings, and Google has naturally enough quoted the judge himself to indicated that this isn’t so, while also pointing out that they dismissed all witnesses they would call on that patent, and would be hard pressed to get their defense together in the next week.

It seems more likely than not that Judge Alsup will rule against Oracle, unless he feels that keeping the patent dismissed with prejudice would be a miscarriage of justice since with the USPTO reversal. We should find out one way or another in the next few weeks.

source: Ars Technica 1,2



1. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

I'm getting tired of reading about all these bs lawsuits from Oracle. Wish they (Oracle) would hire Steve Elop. So he could bankrupt their azz.

2. eaxvac

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

Gogogog Oracleee, takedown Gooooogle who stole s**t with Android.

3. Scott_H

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

Even if Google is found to infringe on valid IP (which doesn't seem terribly likely in this case), it's no more "stealing" than failing to pay your rent on time is. Don't confuse corporate PR mumbo-jumbo with actual legal terms. Also, everyone, from Apple to Oracle to Microsoft has both lost IP cases and agreed to pay licensing fees for IP they were already using. Pretending like the term "stealing" can be wielded like a verbal weapon against a company you don't like is both wrong and disingenuous, since it's a fact of making products in the mobile world.

6. eaxvac

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

just trolling on the android fans :) Was surprised that you replied. Thumbs up

9. Scott_H

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

I guess everyone needs a hobby...

10. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Oh now you know my pain. But haters will hate

4. dallas90733

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 06, 2011

Do anyone know/have any Idea why Oracle would choose to go this route with Google instead of settling this ( since everyone calls Java junk)?, also how hard would it be for Google to switch to a different language ( C#, Python,Ruby)?.

8. Scott_H

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

I believe Google is actually looking into inventing it's own programming language, which may have been a hedge in case things went really south in these lawsuits. Anyhow, I think Oracle thought early on they could get an injunction that would let them stop shipment on all U.S. Android products. That would basically force Google to give them whatever they wanted (unless Google hedged its bets...see first part), which could mean not just billions of dollars, but maybe they thought they could control future versions to some degree. Oracle knows how huge mobile is, and they might think this is their last best chance to get a slice of that pie.

11. dallas90733

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 06, 2011

Thank you Scott!

5. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I suspect the judge may modify his decision to remove the prefudice against Oracle filing another litigation, rather than let Oracle introduce the '702 patent at this trial. Allowing Oracle to introduce the '702 patent now would be prejudicial to Google, if they have truly dismissed the witnesses they had lined up to rebut the '702 patent.

7. Scott_H

Posts: 167; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

I think this would be the most equitable choice, although Judge Alsup has been adamant about trying to avoid another round of litigation that would tie up the courts resources - that's why he denied Oracle's requires to postpone the patent portion of the trial. So it will be interesting to see if he agrees with us.

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