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Oracle Patents Google Java The Courts Linux

More Oracle Patents Declared Invalid 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the quarterly-revenue-projections-dropping dept.
sfcrazy writes "The validity of another Oracle patent has become doubtful in the dispute with Google about the infringement of Java patents and copyrights on Android devices. The US Patent Office and Trademark Office (USPTO) has provisionally declared all 24 claims of patent number 6,125,447 as being invalid. The USPTO based its decision on a patent that had been used in another case. This patent was granted in 1994 – three years before Sun filed its Java patent application. The US patent office also considered two publications released in 1996 as evidence that Sun's described method for protecting applications via 'protection domains' was anticipated by 'prior art.'"
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More Oracle Patents Declared Invalid

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  • by mjwx (966435) on Monday July 04, 2011 @10:49PM (#36657258)

    So in light of a lawsuit, the USPTO finds out that a granted patent should not have been granted. Or many. Everyone is focusing on the impact this may have on the case, but no question asked about the USPTO? (besides Slashdotters?)

    Who though?

    The judge has to maintain his impartiality in the case so he cant ask.

    Oracle/MS/Apple/IBM and so forth are too busy protecting their own patent war chests and beating the patent war drums. They've got to much of a vested interest to ask.

    Organisations like the EFF have been shouting this from the rooftops only to be told "shut up, I just want my Iphone" by the average person.

    So who? Whenever someone raises a voice, they get shouted down because patent reform is hard.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04, 2011 @10:56PM (#36657294)

    Exactly. And this is proof that the system works. Small developers would have needed to spend too much money to discover patents are invalid, and so patent threats are still completely valid. So the large corporations can continue to rule the lesser masses.

  • by borgheron (172546) on Monday July 04, 2011 @11:00PM (#36657314) Homepage Journal

    I believe that the USPTO should be fined when patents are declared invalid. Who those fines should be paid to is another matter. I also believe that the examiner who reviewed the patent should, at the very least, get a mark on his or her record to indicate any patters within the organization with regard to issuing poor patents.

    I do not believe in software patents. They are, fundamentally, wrong and indefensible. Every other country in the world has rejected them except for the United States. What I mentioned above, however, would remove the cavalier attitude of the USPTO with respect to issuing patents of poor quality. It would make them think twice about the novelty of an idea and would make them be VERY sure that the patent covers something worthy of patentability.

    Software patents need to be struck down in general.

    GC

  • LOL (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Monday July 04, 2011 @11:00PM (#36657316) Journal
    Well, here's to hoping that most of sun's software patents are found to be wrong. If so, then Oracle will have to re-think when they buy up companies.
  • Re:another win! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Monday July 04, 2011 @11:03PM (#36657324) Journal
    So far - they aren't. At least according to the Courts...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04, 2011 @11:32PM (#36657422)

    It't not that hard:
    1. Don't allow patents for things where they don't make sense. (i.e. software, business methods).
    2. Make people choose ONE form of protection for a certain item, if it could be construed as eligible for more than one. (i.e. you can copyright it, or patent it, but not both).
    3. Actually enforce the requirements of novelty, etc.
    4. Punish people who submit "original inventions" that aren't. People that know (or should have known) that they are lying to the USPTO benefit from the patents until they are invalidated, so they should be fined whatever benefit they are deemed to have gained from the patent at hand, and then fined for perjury as punishment.
    5. Don't allow NPEs for more than a brief period of time, and don't allow them to bring suit against anyone.

    Doing those things wouldn't stop people with legitimate new ideas from patenting things that are novel, etc., but it would stop most people from playing around and make people think twice before gaming the system.

  • Re:another win! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gerzel (240421) <brollyferret@@@gmail...com> on Monday July 04, 2011 @11:52PM (#36657494) Journal

    I would call it a win, but not just to screw Oracle.

    Patents and copyright need to be limited to narrow and specific terms and need to be lost over time. Otherwise big companies like Oracle simply gather IP and rest on their laurels giving more work to their legal than their research department. The point of IP law is to encourage research. Thus the guaranteeing of unique opportunity to profit from invention and creation is a good idea. Though of note that the guarantee is a monopoly on the opportunity to profit only not the profit itself.

  • Re:another win! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RazorSharp (1418697) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @12:15AM (#36657572)

    Please. I doubt Sun would have ever filed any of these lawsuits. They actually wanted people to use Java. I don't think it should matter that Oracle bought them or not: when Google implemented Java into Android Oracle didn't own Sun and Sun apparently didn't have a problem with what Google was doing. They were probably happy about it. By not suing, Sun set a precedent on the matter which Oracle shouldn't be able to change because of the purchase.

    Also, all these silly patents Oracle acquired along with Sun were probably defensive-minded. It's no surprise that some of them are becoming invalidated with the scrutiny that comes with using them offensively to sue.

    Expect to see the use of Java decline. If Sun had been this litigious about Java it probably would never have become as popular as it has. No one wants to worry about paying a tax to Oracle just for using a language for which many non-taxed alternatives exist.

    I'm not a lawyer. Maybe the law is actually on Oracle's side, but that doesn't make it right.

  • Re:another win! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jrumney (197329) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @01:59AM (#36657926) Homepage

    Better choice: patents are non-transferrable except to heirs upon death. Patents may be licensed, but not sold.

    The problem with this is that genuine individual inventors do not have the resources to manufacture by themselves, and do not want to spend their time administering a licensing scheme. They'd much rather sell the rights and move onto the next invention.

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