Oracle's trial against Google set to begin in mid-April
Nearly six months later than originally scheduled, Oracle's complaint regarding alleged patent infringements by Google's Android mobile operating system is now set to go ahead. United States District Judge William Alsup has set 16 April 2012 as the first day of trial; the trial is expected to take approximately eight weeks.
Previously, Oracle had announced that it would withdraw three further patents from the case should the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) continue to reject them at the time of trial; the patents in question are 7,426,720, 6,910,205 and 5,966,702. They have already been rejected by the USPTO, but Oracle can still object to the decisions. This means that the seven patents, the alleged infringement of which was the basis of Oracle's original complaint, have now been reduced to just two: 6,061,520, which has already been confirmed by the USPTO, and RE38104. The second patent was invented by Java inventor James Gosling and was recently also rejected on a preliminary basis by the USPTO.
Oracle will likely want the trial to start soon particularly because of the Gosling patent. The patent was issued in November 1994 and will expire in December 2012. Google, on the other hand, has tried to delay the start of the trial until all patent re-examinations have been completed.
In the last sentence of his order, Judge Alsup encourages Google to "withdraw its invalidity defenses that have failed in the reexamination process as a way to further streamline the trial". Irrespective of any potential patent validity, Oracle's complaint will continue to pursue the potential copyright infringement by the Android API.