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24 June 2011, 11:57

Some success for Google in Oracle lawsuit

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Oracle vs Android

Oracle has suffered a setback in its dispute with Google over the possible patent infringements in the Android operating system. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has re-examined Oracle's 2001 patent 6,192,476 and rejectedPDF all but 4 of the patent's 21 claims. The rejections were based on the finding that the techniques were already well known.

The patent titled "Controlling access to a resource" is about mechanisms used to regulate Java programs' access to hardware, interfaces and services. The USPTO now sees many of the processes described in the patent as covered by prior art. As evidence, it includes a patent filed five years before the Oracle patent's filing date and the 1972 publication of "The Multics System" by Elliot I. Organick. Only claims 8, 9, 17 and 18 were not rejected by the USPTO. These claims describe the setting of flags in the current call stack which indicate the privilege level of a previously executed routine.

In an overview of the 168 claims of the seven patents that are involved in the Oracle vs Google lawsuit, Groklaw notes that 46 of the claims have already been rejected; four of the patents have yet to complete re-examination. The hearing is due to begin in October and the judge has already asked the parties to reduce the number of claims. Google has previously and unsuccessfully asked to delay the start of the hearing until the USPTO has completed its re-examinations. Oracle is seeking between $1.4 and $6.1 billion dollars in licensing and compensation, a claim disputed by Google.


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