52 for 57: Oracle Successful Again in IPR War Against Clouding IP

The IPR battles between Oracle and Clouding IP continue, with 17 petitions for Inter Partes Review currently pending.* In this installment, Oracle was successful in getting seven of ten challenged claims of a Clouding IP patent into an inter partes review trial in a case styled as Oracle Corp. v. Clouding IP, LLC Inc. (IPR2013-00089), involving U.S. Pat. No. 6,631,449.

The ’449 patent relates to methods and systems for maintaining the consistency of storage objects across distributed networks. More specifically, the ‘449 patent discloses a dynamic distributed data system and method that provides reduced complexity and is extensible, scalable, and isotropic.

The Board began with a findings of fact, detailing pertinent information in the two main references that Patent Challenger cited in its grounds for unpatentability. Then, the Board turned to a brief claim construction analysis, where it interpreted the terms “a repository of last resort,” “a name tag,” and “a storage object.” After hearing interpretations from both Patent Challenger and Patent Owner, the Board looked to the specification and a technical dictionary to obtain constructions of each, with the result being disagreement with Patent Owner in only one instance.

Then the Board moved on to an analysis of the alleged grounds of unpatentability. Patent Challenger alleged the challenged claims were anticipated or obvious over four combinations of prior art references. As to the anticipation grounds, the Board declined to grant Patent Challenger’s proposed grounds, basing its decision on the holding that the cited reference did not describe the same, “repository of last resort,” as was cited in the challenged claims of the ‘449 patent.  The “repository of last resort,” as described in the prior art was deemed different than the same phrase, as used and claimed in the ‘449 patent.

There were mixed results for the claims challenged on obviousness grounds. In an analysis that did not stand out for any particular noteworthy analysis, seven of the ten challenged claims were placed into the IPR trial based on a single ground of unpatentability.

*As we continue to get caught up on past decisions (in between billable hours), we note that the battle between Oracle and Clouding IP has been settled, with all 17 IPR proceedings having been terminated by joint stipulation and the filing of a settlement agreement.