Oracle Drops One of Its Patent Claims Against Google

Oracle has decided to give up on one of the patent claims it brought against Google in its lawsuit over alleged Java intellectual property violations in the Android mobile OS.

Earlier this week, Google asked for permission to file a motion for summary judgment that would toss out Claim 14 of U.S. Patent No. 6,192,476, arguing that a court ruling in January "construed Claim 14 to cover patent-ineligible subject matter."

But in a letter filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oracle said it would no longer pursue redress under the patent.

"As part of its continuing effort to streamline the case for trial and make best use of the Court's and parties' resources, Oracle has today by separate letter to Google withdrawn the assertion of Claim 14 of the '476 patent, the only claim that is the subject of Google's précis letter (and the only remaining asserted claim of the '476 patent)," the letter from Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs states. "Accordingly, Oracle requests that the Court deny Google's request for leave as moot."

It had already been unclear whether Claim 14 of the patent would make it to trial, given its rejection by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in December following a reexamination.

The vendor had until later this month to file a response to the rejection, but Jacobs' letter to the court on Friday seems to rule out that option.

Oracle filed suit against Google in August 2010, claiming that Android violated a number of patents and copyrights it holds on Java, the open-source programming language. But Google has denied wrongdoing, asserting that Android uses a "clean-room" implementation of Java that doesn't infringe on Oracle's intellectual property.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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