With help from U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, Apple might have won an important battle in their ongoing patent war against Google. What’s interesting is that Apple used their legal battle with Motorola to get to Google, based on the recent merger of the latter. Just in case you are not aware of this yet, Apple is suing (with limited success this far) almost every smartphone producer out there for supposedly broken patents.
In a patent lawsuit filed by Apple against Motorola Mobility in 2010 and ruled on Tuesday in Chicago, Posner ordered Google and Motorola to hand over data regarding their merger, as well as info regarding the development of the Android OS. Exactly what Apple is hoping to learn from this is unclear at this point, but according Apple’s lawyers, “the Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses”. Most likely, Apple wants to uncover other patents that they can attack in court, but this is just a supposition.
Although both EU and U.S. authorities gave their “go” on Google’s acquisition of Motorola, the deal is still under review, pending acceptance and finalization by the end of the month. During the past few weeks though, Google has struggled to make it crystal-clear that Motorola will be treated as a separate entity, a lot like a third-party manufacturer, if you will. Motorola has opposed Apple’s initial request to learn details of the merger, invoking exactly the same reason: “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”.
The Motorola/Google vs Apple patent war is far from over though, as the same judge has scheduled two back-to-back trials (with separate juries) starting June 11’th. One trial will address six Apple patents supposedly broken by Motorola, while the other will address three Motorola patents supposedly broken by Apple.