Now, according to a Reexamination Alert from the firm of Westerman Hattori Daniels & Adrian LLP, Google has fired the next salvo in the ongoing dispute by asking the USPTO to reexamine four of the patents asserted by Oracle – US Patent nos. 5,966,702, 6,061,520, 6,125,447 & RE 38,104.
In principle, full details of reexamination proceedings, including documents filed by the parties, are available via the USPTO's Public Patent Application Information Retrieval (Public PAIR) system. In practice, finding the documents can be less than straightforward, but for those readers who may wish to follow the process we provide further information and instructions at the end of this article.
So far, it appears that the documents filed by Google are only available in three of the cases, although we expect that the other will follow shortly.
BASIS FOR REEXAMINATION OF US 5,966,702Google's reexamination request against US Patent No. 5,966,702 makes the following allegations:
- that claims 1, 5-7, 11-13, 15 and 16 are unpatentable due to anticipation by US Patent No. 5,815,718; and
- that claims 1, 5-7, 11-13 and 15 are unpatentable due to anticipation by US Patent No. 5,613,120.
BASIS FOR REEXAMINATION OF US 6,061,520The reexamination request against US Patent No. 6,061,520 is based upon three prior art documents:
- Lewis et al, Clarity MCode: A Retargetable Intermediate Representation of Compilation, ACM, IR'95, 1/95, San Francisco, CA, USA (1995);
- Cierniak et al, Briki: an Optimizing Java Compiler, IEEE Compcom '97 Proceedings (February 1997); and
- Dyer, Java Decompilers Compared, JavaWorld.com (1 July 1997).
- claims 1-4, 6-13, 15, 16 and 18-32 are upatentable due to anticipation by Lewis;
- claims 1-4 and 6-23 are upatentable due to anticipation by Cierniak; and
- claims 1-4 and 6-23 are also upatentable over Cierniak in view of Dyer (i.e. a combination of the information in both documents).
BASIS FOR REEXAMINATION OF US 6,125,447The reexamination request against US Patent No. 6,125,447 is based upon three prior art documents:
- US Patent No. 5,412,717, in the name of Fischer;
- Goldstein, The Gateway Security Model in the Java Electronic Commerce Framework (published 29 November 1996); and
- Shah, Java APIs: Playing Monopoly with Java via the JECF (published 1 December 1996).
- claims 1-24 are unpatentable due to anticipation by Fischer; and
- claims 1-24 are unpatentable over Goldstein in view of Shah.
BASIS FOR REEXAMINATION OF RE38,104Details are not yet available in the USPTO PAIR system for RE38,104, but we will check back in a few days and report further.
TRACKING REEXAMINATION PROGRESS VIA THE USPTOThe USPTO's PAIR system provides access to documents associated with all patents, and all published applications.
You might therefore think that finding reexamination documents would be a simple matter of searching for the relevant patent number. But you would be incorrect.
When a reexamination request is lodged, the PTO opens a new file, and allocates a reexamination application number (currently commencing with the sequence number 90). To find the reexamination case associated with a patent, it is necessary first to open the patent case, then visit the 'continuity data' tab to find associated applications. If a reexamination application number is listed, this can then be opened to view the associated events and documents.
The reexamination application numbers associated with each of the Oracle patents are:
- US 5,966,702 is being reexamined under application no. 90/011,492;
- US 6,061,520 is being reexamined under application no. 90/011,489;
- US 6,125,447 is being reexamined under application no. 90/011,491; and
- RE38,104 is being reexamined under application no. 90/011,490.