In August last year, Oracle sued Google over its use of Java in Android. Oracle claimed that Google infringed upon Oracle’s Java patents, being fully aware of the infringement. A tough battle ensued, and Oracle and Google are battling it out in the court for one year now, without any results.
While this battle was ongoing, Java founder James Gosling joined and left Google. The Lindholdm email revealed some important facts and Groklaw has presented an analysis of the entire matter. In addition to those events, Google appealed to the Patent and Trademark office (PTO) to re-check Oracle Java patents. The re-examination was favorable for Google, as now, the PTO has rejected some of Oracle’s Java patents.
Google claims that,
The reexaminations of five of the six patents-in-suit remain ongoing, with roughly two-thirds of the currently asserted claims having been rejected. Eighty percent of the asserted claims as to which the PTO has issued an office action currently stand rejected.
Although Oracle is allowed to claim infringement on the invalidated patents, this rejection complicates the case even further. Google has created an empire and a new business line over Android, and it is not willing to give up so easily. At the same time, Oracle is not ready to let go of the jackpot it can earn from this infringement case.
Most of the patents mentioned in the Google vs. Oracle case are related to codes that improve Java performance in Android’s Dalvik virtual machine. However, the PTO has invalidated a patent that was supposed to expire in 2025, making it the youngest of the lot, and the most profitable one for Oracle. This case is costing Oracle more in monetary (or patent) and reputation damages, and more than it can profit from the infringement claims.