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Oracle's Android claims slashed by US patent authorities

Prior art cited

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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 in question is number 6192476, one of six Oracle says Google has stepped on.

Groklaw reports that the USPTO dismissed the claims after it was asked to reexamine patent number 6192476 in March. The 17 claims were rejected, with the USPTO citing prior art. Google has requested other claims be reexamined.

In May, the judge hearing the case told Oracle to slim down its number of claims against Google, from the original 132.

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

"There are hundreds of prior art references in play for invalidity defenses. This is too much," Alsup said.

He also told Google to reduce its number of invalidity defenses, pointing to inconsistencies in Google's argument. "Many of Google's invalidity contentions are inconsistent and presented in the alternative: Google contends that many patent claims are not enabled but also contends that the same claims are enabled by the prior art," he wrote in May.

Oracle wants to proceed to trial regardless of any further reexamination of the claims. ®

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