Oracle tells court about patent victory

The US Patent and Trademark Office confirms Java patent it had previously rejected

Oracle scored a victory in its battle with Google, as the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) decided to uphold a Java patent it had previously rejected, according to a court filing.

On April 19, the USPTO sent a notice of intent to issue a so-called Ex Parte Reexamination Certificate confirming all the asserted claims of the 5,966,702 patent, according to a filing made on Sunday by Oracle to the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, where the trial between Oracle and Google got under way last week.

Oracle has done its utmost to prove the validity of the patent, which specifies a method for pre-processing and packaging class files in order to improve Java performance. The patent had already been rejected twice, but Oracle didn't give up and finally got the office to confirm its validity.

The court filing doesn't include any information on what Oracle plans to do following this victory, only informing the court that it had happened. However, there's no reason why the patent couldn't be added to the two that are already part of the trial, according to Florian Mueller, author of the FOSS Patents blog.

In March, Oracle said it would withdraw litigation related to the patent if it remained rejected at the time of trial in an effort to get it under way during the spring, according to a court filing.

In the March filing, Oracle also reiterated its objection to allowing information about the reexamination of 5,966,702 and two others to be presented to the jury at trial. But the company acknowledged the court's ruling to permit the jury to learn of rejections made by the examiner until that point.

Oracle didn't immediately reply to questions about Sunday's latest filing.

The trial between Oracle and Google got started on April 16, after Oracle sued Google in August 2010 for infringing Java patents and copyrights when it developed the Android operating system.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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