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23 April 2012, 15:45

US Patent Office declares Oracle patent valid after reexamination

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In a reexamination, the US Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) has declaredPDF Sun's patent 5,966,702 as valid. The patent, which describes a "method for pre-processing and packaging class files", was one of the seven patents Oracle originally cited when it filed its lawsuit. Going into the court proceedings, which revolves around alleged copyright and patent violations in Android, these patents were reduced to two applicable to the suit.

The fact that this patent is now valid for inclusion in the lawsuit means that the number of patents Oracle can leverage in the proceedings has increased from two to three. The USPTO had declared the patent invalid on 7 February, a decision that Oracle appealed. The fact that Oracle has won this appeal and managed to get the patent declared as valid again could allow Oracle's lawyers to make a stronger argument in court than if it had not been re-examined as it has already been challenged with prior art.

Currently, copyright disputes are dominating the trial. After the copyright issues have been settled, the patents in question will be debated before the court will move on to discuss damages.

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