Another major set back for Google (GOOG) and its Motorola Mobility Holdings (MMI) unit as they were ordered by the U.S. judge presiding over an Apple Inc. (AAPL) patent lawsuit to turn over information about the development of Google’s Android operating system.
“Motorola shall be expected to obtain full and immediate compliance by Google with Apple’s liability discovery demands,” the judge said in a February order.
The Motorola Mobility unit and Google must also hand over to Apple information about Google’s pending $12.5 billion acquisition of the mobile-phone maker, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner in Chicago ruled yesterday.
Posner’s decision came in a patent lawsuit filed in 2010 by Cupertino, California-based Apple against Motorola Mobility, which has countersued.
“The Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses,” Apple’s attorneys’ said in a March 2 filing requesting the judge’s order.
Motorola Mobility opposed Apple’s request, arguing that Google, the operator of the world’s most-visited Internet search portal, isn’t a party to the lawsuit.
“Google’s employees and documents are not within the ‘possession, custody, or control’ of Motorola, and Motorola cannot force Google to produce documents or witnesses over Google’s objections,” lawyers for the mobile phone maker said in a court filing earlier yesterday.
Apple, maker of the iPhone, has been waging a global fight with the former Motorola Inc. unit that sells phones using Google (GOOG)’s Android operating system.
Apple founder Steve Jobs fired Google CEO Eric Schmidt when he learned that Schmidt had been spying on Apple’s iPhone efforts.Channels: Apple, google, Mobile