Google and Motorola Mobility have been ordered to hand over Android development information to Apple, with a Chicago judge apparently agreeing with the iPhone maker that roadmap details along with acquisition info is vital to Apple’s patent lawsuit. “Motorola shall be expected to obtain full and immediate compliance by Google with Apple’s liability discovery demands” US Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner ruled, Bloomberg reports, though Motorola has fired back with the argument that it has no control over Google’s disclosure.
“Google’s employees and documents are not within the ‘possession, custody, or control’ of Motorola,” the company’s legal team said in a court filing, “and Motorola cannot force Google to produce documents or witnesses over Google’s objections.” Google, meanwhile, has declined to comment on the ruling.
Exactly what information Apple is seeking is unclear at this stage, and it’s not specified as yet whether the Android roadmap details concern Google’s future plans for the platform or its historic development of it. Either of those could be insightful for Apple in ascertaining whether its patented technologies have been infringed.
Google has insisted it will be operating the Motorola Mobility division as a separate organization from its existing Android team, with “dividers” promised between the two. “[It would be] physically difficult for me to advantage somebody” Android chief Andy Rubin said of the acquisition and potential fears that Google could give Motorola priority treatment over and above Samsung, HTC and others.