Google Loses Java Patent Skirmish With Oracle

Java LogoA “gargantuan” patent infringement battle is shaping up between Oracle America, Inc. [ORCL] and Google Inc. [GOOG] over allegations that Google’s Android phone software infringes seven Java software-related patents.  The latest action by a federal judge Monday did not go well for Google.  And this comes just two months before the scheduled jury trial.

 Oracle filed the lawsuit in August 2010 making a 132 infringement claims over seven patents.  In January Google countered in its own defense that Oracle’s patents are invalid. It asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reexamine the patents.

In June, U.S. District Judge William Alsup managed to get Oracle to narrow its patent case to 50 asserted claims and Google to limit its invalidity defenses to 50 claims, down from 300.

Alsup called it the “first step toward streamlining this gargantuan case for trial.”

But Google returned to court recently asking that it be allowed to restore a host of its claims of invalid patents.  Alsup said on Monday, too little, too late.

“It is possible that Google simply did not have that many good invalidity theories and is now trying to fill in with whatever it can belatedly cobble together,” Alsup wrote.

With the trial just two months away, Google “now seeks [permission] to bring an entire fleet of new invalidity defenses into the fray.”

In only one instance did Alsup allow Google to expand previously submitted claims of invalidity.

Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems’ Java technology when it bought Sun in early 2010.

The trouble began, according to Oracle, when Google developed a Java-compatible technology called Dalvik for the Android.  Oracle claims Dalvik was built using Sun technology in violation of Sun’s patents, now owned by Oracle.

Case:  Oracle v. Google, 10-cv-3561WHA  (N. Dist. Calif.)

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