Oracle setback as patent rejected in Google legal battle
No end in sight after one year, as Oracle pushes for jury trial next year
In the legal battle with a resolution nowhere in sight, Oracle received a huge blow after the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) rejected one of their key patents in their case against technical behemoth Google.
Oracle sued Google last year, accusing them of infringing Java patents in their Android operating system. Revealed in a double court filing yesterday, the PTO US did however uphold one patent from Oracle, suggesting that there could be much more legal wrangling going into the new year. Legal experts have claimed that the rejection of one Oracle patent could prove significant in the long run, over the other being upheld. Both patents (6,061,520 and 7,426,720) relate to Java performance
It appears that Oracle are pushing for a jury trial in the middle of next year, whilst Google are insistent that any trial before July 2012 wouldn’t be practical. Initially Oracle sought damages of up to $6.1 billion, although the court ordered them to revise that estimate.
Scott Daniels, of the Reexamination Alert blog notes that this rulings are preliminary and that Oracle have until December 19th to appeal it. However if Google have indeed breached one of the patents in question, it could be enought to award substantial damages to Oracle. Florian Mueller, who runs FOSS Patents blog, noted the importance of the ‘720’ patent due to it being the newest, meaning that should Google be found to be in violation, the injunction would last until 2025.
Daniels also wrote:
Sometimes the claims are like a two-foot fence and you can walk around them; other times they’re like the Great Wall of China
We could be in for a long wait.