U.S. judge sides with Oracle over patent language

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April 28, 2011 5:14 AM EST

A U.S. judge has largely sided with Oracle Corp over how several technical terms will be defined in its patent fight over Google Inc's Android software, according to a tentative ruling.

Claim construction orders define the scope of a party's patent rights, and thus can often shape the course of the litigation.

Oracle sued Google last year, claiming the Web search company's Android mobile operating technology infringes on Oracle's Java patents. Oracle bought the Java programing language through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in January 2010.

Some see the lawsuit as a sign of a growing business rivalry between the two companies.

The claim construction order released on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge William Alsup construes terms in three of the seven patents in the case.

Out of five technical terms at issue, Alsup opted for Oracle's interpretation of four. The judge wrote his own construction for another one.

An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment, and Google representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Alsup gave both sides until May 6 to submit a critique of his tentative decision.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Oracle America, Inc v. Google Inc, 10-3561.

(Reporting by Dan Levine, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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