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back to article Oracle's Android claims slashed by US patent authorities

Oracle's broad legal front against Google has been whittled back further, this time by the US patent and trademark authorities, according to Groklaw. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected 17 of 21 claims associated with one of the patents in Java that Oracle asserted Google had violated with Android. The patent …

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Devil

Wow, that is some serious USA gov leverage

USPTO reexamining a patent in 3 months? You gotta be kidding...

Did the Martians just land on Capitol hill?

I wonder how much lobbying did this one require...

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Not a lot.

Payment was delivered in full about 3 years ago.

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Go

I have to admit, I liked...

..."Oracle wants to proceed to trial regardless of any further reexamination of the claims."; that seems to be saying something to the effect of "We want you to find Google guilty of violations of patents that may in fact not actually exist...". I can imagine the reaction of the average judge to that...

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Pint

More SCO goodness

SCO does the same sound familiar ? Oracle is the new SCO apparently.Hope they go away in the depths of bankruptcy ... just like SCO . Oracle does behave exactly like they had.The parallel is unequivocal. Just hope that one of the judges in the SCO case grabs a hold of that case.Any way you look at it , this is getting interresting. Get the pop corn :)

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The difference between SCO and Oracle

Oracle actually has a product which is selling. Several, in fact, though I can't help but think their database occupies the same class as novell's networking software; has a limited number of core competencies that most people will never utilize, but because the name is famous people insist on using it. Despite it's rather clunky nature.

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FAIL

Re: More SCO goodness

Except that SCO's business model was already toast when they went down this road. Oracle are (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) nowhere near SCO's situation at that time.

In any event the more things are pared down, the better for almost everybody (but not Oracle or Google). The sooner this nonsense is sorted out one way or the other, the better. Bang some heads together!

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Anonymous Coward

it's not just patents

You're forgetting about the copyright claims. They will go forward even if every patent were to be invalidated.

And I can't help but wonder how much time and money is wasted on these sorts of things because the patent office doesn't do their job properly in the first place. I guess it's good for the lawyers but not for anyone else.

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Trollface

Nope...

What Oracle is saying is that they want to go to trial and not wait for Google to continue to pick apart Oracle's software patents.

The point of law is that until the patents are picked apart, by law they hold true.

But I have to wonder if all of those lobbying dollars and the fact that the White House's CTO is a former Google lobbyist/employee?

Naw that would have no effect on how things happen.

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Trollface

SCO sold the use of UNIX...

They are the same. SCO actually provided Linux freely prior to the major litigations through a company called Caldera. Both are scum & progress interfering A-holes as is or was Microsux & Apple...

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Trollface

Perhaps a little Microsoft in Google yet...

This post basically reflects Microsoft's stance in all things bureaucracy. This is exactly how Microsoft dealt with the DOJ's anti-monopoly lawsuit (95% of computer users & abusing their monopoly) & they got away virtually Scot free. You can argue the billions all you like but for MS giving away their software to schools would have 2 major positives for them, firstly the software cost them nothing but a CD-ROM or 2 & secondly they create a new generation of Microsoft users. Bonus! Next gen monopoly...

With Google, their monopoly of the Internet is already challenged albeit minimally with Google holding 70% (around that number somewhere) & Bing/Yahoo holding most of the rest. This is only in Search whereas in social networking, well Facebook has probably 90% of the public online involved being that their stats show them approaching 700 million users. This is an incredible number of online users.

Oracle is just a bastion of patent trolling & I hope they end up the same as SCO; ie dead in the water. I hope they go broke bcoz they never built any of the software structure they are trolling their lawsuit on. If anyone should get the financial windfall from this it is Sun who have since given the game away without solving the patent issues. I completely disagree with selling patents, perhaps passing them on to family but after some amount of time they should be defunct anyway. Google gets nothing from the creation of the software other than advertising revenue which is not a Java entry, rather Javascript. They designed the software, the gains are theirs. Screw Oracle & Larry, I hope you both die. You are scum...

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Silver badge

While agree about the outcomes,

blame has to start at the right place - Congress. I worked at a place where the first patent was turned down by the patent office. So they went back, rethought the application, applied under a different variation, and got through. First one was on a pure new idea application, second one was as what I regard as the functional equivalent of a trademark. If there weren't so many categories in which you can file, it might be easier to maintain reasonable proficiency standards.

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Boffin

@ Rex Alfie Lee - WTF?

"Oracle is just a bastion of patent trolling & I hope they end up the same as SCO; ie dead in the water. "

Again, while you say the term 'patent troll', do you really understand what it means?

Oracle actually produces products and uses the technology where they purchased the IP and ensuing patents. There is no troll here.

A patent troll exists to purchase IP from defunct companies with the sole purpose of attempting to gain revenue from extorting licenses from these assets. They produce no products except billable hours for lawyers.

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Devil

Now ........

What was that little company called, you know the one that went after LINUX, Ah I remember SCO! I lie I had to raise them from obscurity via Google, must be getting senile.

Is this the start of oracle going down the same tube?

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Joke

Indeedy

A complete FiaSCO, in fact.

I used to have a stapler somewhere made by RapeSCO, how portentous that was...

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Happy

Nope!

'Cos Oracle have a proper business making serious money, unlike SCO who had a handful of customers, shitload of hot air to exhale and bellows load of smoke to blow!

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Alien

Fraudulent "IP" claims should be a criminal offence

AFAIAC companies that attack others with fraudulent claims should be subject to criminal prosecution. If that were the case, patent trolls would disappear overnight.

As things stand, it's just a free-for-all for criminal opportunists.

I simply don't understand why the law tolerates this sort of thing, then sends the culprits off with a cheery wave afterwards. It's quite bizarre.

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Because ...

You have to pay the courts for their time. No Crimes, No Cases no Cash!

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A nice idea

But the truth is that a patent holder doesn't always know their patent is worthless until they test it in court.

If you mean about claiming someone's infringed when they haven't, I think that's a different matter to what's being discussed here.

Regardless, if you don't win you have to pay court costs and you may lose your patents.

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Linux

...a trolling we will go.

> But the truth is that a patent holder doesn't always know their patent is worthless until they test it in court.

I think you are giving the average patent troll far too much credit.

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Worthless patents

> But the truth is that a patent holder doesn't always know their patent is worthless until they test it in court

Surely that just adds value to the idea. More risk = less trolling. They should bring back stocks too (not the wall street kind).

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Anonymous Coward

@Homer 1

Unfortunately the main blame has to lie with the assorted patents offices - sure many patents are applied for with the applicant believing that the patent is already invalid (prior art, unpatentable, already patented in a slightly different form, or by a different patentor in a different jurisdiction etc.) but ultimately if the appropriate patent office agrees with your patent claim (after you have paid them to check out that it is valid) then the fault shifts from the patentor to the patent office.

It is also reasonable to accept that genuine mistakes will be made by one or other interested party.

Once a patent is granted, erroneously or otherwise, it then becomes up to "infringers" to prove the patent is erroneous or bogus or substantively different or so on - the burden of proof* is taken away from the patentor due to their patent office approving the patent in the first place.

It would be very difficult to prove that a patentor acted in bad faith (trying to make money from their "inventions" is most certainly not bad faith, by the way), either when submitting the patent or subsequent enforcement.

*the assumption in law is that the patent is valid and it is up to the infringer to prove that it is invalid

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@ Homer 1

Honestly I hope Google wins this one as I have some serious contempt for Larry and the way he does business... But if they have a patent on it an application and they feel someone is infringing on the patent then its not really a frivolous lawsuit. That is while the patents are still valid. If the patents are invalidated for whatever reason and Oracle continues to sue, THEN its a frivolous lawsuit.

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Stop

Oracle may not have known that the claims were invalid...

... remember that that bought all of these patents as a job-lot when they ate the Sun.... Due diligence only goes so far - they may have had every reason to believe that what they were paying for was valuable stuff, (and Sun certainly wouldnt have been trying to give them the idea that the patents were worthless!)

For Oracle to be seen as criminal, they would have had to have had every patent re-examined prior to the takeover and still gone ahead anyway.

For what it is worth, I personally think they SHOULD have had every patent re-examined prior to the sale - it would have prevented a load of nonsense, but probably decimated what was left of the shareholder value in Sun....

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Silver badge

And occassionally they screwup in reverse.

First job I had one of the engineers had turned in a patent application and was turned down. He made the mistake of assuming that because he was turned down, that patent office had done their work correctly. When I became employed one of the things he set me about doing was filing away paperwork associated with some patent applications. As I was doing so he looked at the art for application the patent office said invalidated his claim. Turned out his process removed a machining operation, and therefore was a legitimate new patent. But the time had long since passed for protesting the decision.

Likewise, it isn't only the US patent office that makes lousy technical decisions. One of the things they did have a patent for used a compressible fluid chamber. Theirs was a cylinder. Somebody in France took the same design, changed the cylinder to a v-shaped container, and claimed it was both independent and superior. Point of the chamber was to provide a damping load for pressure changes, so the shape didn't matter. Company didn't have the money to fight in France so they gave up.

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FAIL

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

'US District Judge William Alsup wrote at the time that Oracle must narrow its claims against Google to a "triable number." ............'

Why? can't he count up that high? What a halfwit.

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Make less more

Perhaps they should file the claims in smaller bitesize pieces over time - BBC Bitesize helped a lot when the younger ones were doing revision

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@AC 09:22

I don't doubt the Judges ability to count - can't really say the same for your ability to run a court of law.

Sheesh. You just can't get a decent quality Troll these days :(

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Trollface

An argument must be specific...

The judge is correct here. How can you argue the point when your point is so cloudy that relevance is lost. Yes they can come back later & sue on another point but we're talking judges who understand law not code & realising that a small set of code may cover several patents, many of which will show prior art. Whittling them down to a number which can be both defended & attacked in a reasonable manner is the issue here. Oracle's original lawsuit was to broad for anyone to reasonably understand the entirety of both sides unless of course you were a lawyer who worked specifically for a software company & had years in a specific focus on software designed to find the litigious holes making the lawyer & software company trolls in the worst form of the word.

This would describe Microsoft, HP, Apple & Oracle in recent times. Whilst IBM probably holds the largest bank of patents they seem willing to use them only for self-protection whereas Google has a very small number in comparison to any of the larger companies.

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Anonymous Coward

@Will Godfrey

Difference is I'm not pretending to run a court......

Herp derp.

And with regards to your troll comment - hypocrite much?

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Holmes

Rex Alfie Lee ...An argument must be specific... → #

Why?

That hasn't stopped you from posting.

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Happy

Toys?

Will Larry be throwing his out of the pram soon?

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Its possibly going to be a licensing issue

Read a great report here and think this maybe a reason.

www.mobileinquirer.com/2011/oracle-seek-billions-for-android-patent-infringement/

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LPF
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@Sean Kennedy

Are you on drugs ???

In the Business world,there is the top tier

DB2, Oracle

Then ther is the also rans

SQL Server

Then the free stuff

MYSQL , Postgress

Seriously whatever oracle may have vis-a-vie Java, when it comes to DB's them and IBM whizzz from a great height on all others FACT

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@LPF re. "are you on drugs?"

Second that statement. I've been working on relational databases for 20 yrs now myself.

I wonder how many of the posters downvoting this remark have _any_ clue about real world heavy-duty databases? Sean certainly doesn't seem to.

Sure, paying Uncle Larry for an Oracle license is overkill for many, many, cases where you need a database. However, contending that Oracle DB is a near-useless product, like Sean does, shows little understanding of databases. It is the reference product, for all its warts.

When you need really high performance on really high volumes then you really don't have much alternatives to Oracle or DB2. SQL Server doesn't, quite, cut it. The rest of the time, save your money, use something else than Oracle.

I like Postgresql myself, but last I looked at it 3 yrs ago, it seemed that a lot of users were topping their volumes @ 60 GB. That is not so big for a database and you don't want to be pushing the use-case envelope on your own production-critical software.

Don't get me started on mysql. A perfectly good db for web site usage, but as for the rest...

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@LPF

Maybe it is my Seattle bias, but I think your list is skewed. You'd be surprised at how many enterprises are running on SQL, and doing it well.

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Holmes

@John 104

It _is_ your Seattle bias.

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@Sean Kennedy

Where does Greenplum fit into your tiered world?

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Paris Hilton

2 Secrets of the patent world.

1. Everything can be patented if you have a half competent lawyer.

2. Every patent can be prior-arted if you are fully inclined to do so.

Paris, coz her rise to fame was patentable, but was prior arted by Pam Lee.

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@ AC

1. Everything can be patented if you have a half competent lawyer.

Certain basic things would be refused instantly... Levers and pulleys.

2. Every patent can be prior-arted if you are fully inclined to do so.

Not true.. You may try to prior art something.. that doesn't mean it will hold up in a court of law. That's like saying everything has been invented and now can only be improved upon or modified. Scientist now believe they have found a way to actually transmit matter over a distance using light. That would be an original patent once they have a working model. Oh and just cause it was done on Star Trek doesn't mean its prior art.

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@LPF

Microsoft SQL Server is just a rebuild of Sybase. Nothing special there, except for the bit of added instability you get for running it on Windows.

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I dunno why, but maybe Oracle

would be perfect as the new owner for Nokia?

Oracle have bags of money. They can screw Google, screw Microsoft and they're tight with Apple now (Larry is best buds with Skeletor).

Just as long as they resurrect MeeGo of course. Hmm... sharing with Intel, nah that won't work. Balls.

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Joke

The words...

...."with Intel" were superfluous in that statement...

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Trollface

This is good...

May Oracle die horribly. Apart from Microsux & Apple I can't think of a more deserving company...

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Black Helicopters

Oracle arguably _is_ SCO

When Caldera International bought the UNIX divisions of original SCO (The Santa Cruz Operation), the remaining Tarantella division retained the name, but later renamed themselves Tarantella, thus allowing Caldera to rename itself The SCO Group. Then Sun bought Tarantella, and eventually Oracle bought Sun.

So Oracle are the current legitimate heirs of the real SCO.

See <http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarantella,_Inc.>; <http://oracle.com/us/technologies/virtualization/oraclevm/061996.html>

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