Google, Motorola Forced to Hand Android Development Data Over to Apple


In a very interesting twist in the patent war between Apple and Motorola/Google, a court judge presiding over the case has ordered the latter party to hand over information regarding Android’s development to the former. They’ll also be required to hand over information regarding the acquisition proposal between the two parties.

While the acquisition has not been closed yet, it’s expected to be approved and finalized by the end of this quarter. These rulings were made by Chicago Circuit Judge Richard Posner. The decision was made in a patent lawsuit filed by Apple in 2010, in which Motorola countersued. Apple claims that the new acquisition proposal is highly relevant to their case.

It’s unclear how it is relevant, and it’s also unclear why Apple would need so much information from Google and Motorola regarding Android to continue with their lawsuit.

Apple has had little success getting any real victories in any region but this decision certainly is a big one for them. It remains to be seen if anything fruitful (no pun intended) will come of it but we’re skeptical that whatever Apple is trying to cook up has any legs. [Bloomberg]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. It’s unclear how it is relevant, and it’s also unclear why Apple would need so much information from Google and Motorola regarding Android to continue with their lawsuit. ”
    Because its Apple and any judge will decide in favour of them….

    1. But what could apple want from this data? To steal new things from android like the notification bar, or look at what parts have not been patented for future lawsuits (after they file for the patent ofc)?

      I had thought if anyone, Oracle would be wanting to see this data, but I doubt Apple will want or is allowed to share it with Oracle.

      Weird…..if Apple didn’t sue so much, they could be a great company

      1. I love Apple products but despise Apple’s business ethics.  They sue everybody that shows any form of innovation and try and stifle any competition.  It’s not about protecting their patents as all Apple fanboys always say, I just think they’re scared of the competition and the fact they released iOS 5 that was full of new features that they stole from the jailbreak devs, as for the notification centre, well we all know where they stole that idea from don’t we.

        1. I don’t even care that they take features from developers or other OS’s. If it improves the quality then go right ahead. But when you copy/improve stuff from others don’t be sad/mad when they do the same to you. 

          Apple makes great products. I haven’t owned any of them so far, but people are happy with their products so go ahead and produce some more. Just don’t try to stifle the production of products that I like (android hardware) That’s when I start despising the company.

          Then again its all business to both of them, so they couldn;t care less whether I hate/like them :)

        2.  I hate their double standard. Apple can take all the stuff they want but they’re the ones who claim they invented the GUI even though they got it from Xerox. Just make a better product that does what people want it to do and stop complaining and suing as if you’re the only source of innovation on this planet.

        3. I am the same way. I love their products, but I can not get myself to support a corporation who so blatantly uses its money to get what it wants. I know, every corporation does it; but Apple’s obvious abuse lately is just disgusting.

      2. weird how apple seems to slither their way into these things huh?

        the idea of injunctioning all android products alone is something only apple would be able to get ppl to think can happen. if something THAT big needs to happen just in ONE company’s interest then something else was wrong before that

    2. No disrespect to anybody German that may read this but Apple’s view and the way they so clearly want total domination with no choice for the customer other than what they release, at their price and with their controls on customisation, smacks to me that they are the modern day Nazi’s in many respects.

      If Apple were so good, which personally I think their products are the most aesthetically pleasing and well made, they wouldn’t worry about any competition but the fact they are always suing companies and are so strict on control of devices they sell just makes me hate them and what they stand for …. Hopefully more companies running Android learn from Sony and make some devices that are not only feature packed but look good aswell.  I personally wouldn’t buy an Android powered handset if it wasn’t for Sony because I don’t like 1 single handset, aesthetically, by any other manufacturer but that’s just my opinion and having owned an iPhone until recently I know the reason millions buy iPhone’s is because of the build quality and the designs.

      1.  build quality? moehahaahahahahah
        look at all the iPhone 4 (S) with broken glass.
        No Gorilla glass so the thing gets scatches like a dog with flees..
        I know.. I had 2 iphones…

        1. Just because some people are incompetent fools doesn’t detract any from the build quality, not to mention the fact it is purported to use Gorilla glass and it is made by Corning to the same specifications, google it and you will see … So you laugh because you disagree with the build quality bit yet you are on an Android blog which probably means you own a handset sporting Android, in that case you have a majority plastic device that creaks in your hand, there isn’t one single handset running Android that is better looking or of better build quality than the iPhone .. that’s a fact and I own devices from both platforms.
          You surely aren’t so naive to think that it isn’t well made because some clumsy fucks drop their phones, the fact it is virtually all glass and metal makes it heavier than the vast majority of plastic Android handsets and simple physics would tell you mass = acceleration so the chances of a two sided glass covered device not breaking is obsurd.  Any device would be hard pushed not to break regardless of Gorilla glass, did I say I agreed with their decision to use glass on the front or back? No !

          1. Old iPhones had Gorilla Glass construction. The new one was made with a glass designed by APPLE. And its construction was inferior to Gorilla Glass. 

            While I agree with you that some people don’t know how to take care of a phone (I had an iPhone 4 for more than a year with no case, never got a large scratch) there are some handsets that are on par with apple’s iPhone. Look at a lot of HTC phones, and the Lumia 900 is gorgeous, and polycarbonate while being plastic, does NOT feel cheap.

          2. I agree mate, at the end of the day we are all entitled to our opinions, i’m not trying to insult anybody or imply what I say is right and everyone else is wrong .. Just having a civilised discussion which was something that simply couldn’t be had on an Apple blog.

          3. Wrong. See Apple’s latest report. Corning is a supplier to Apple. Its just that Apple strictly orders their suppliers to not go public about their contracts and deals with Apple. Unlike the rest of the industry

          4. Thanks for the info Glen. 

            And yeah! civilized conversations are awesome. Fanboys of any kind are annoying.

  2. The Chicago way.

  3. I’m not seeing why a judge would grant something like this.

    1. Agreed. Do they suspect Android of copying some of their code? That’s the only thing I could think of, which seems ridiculous.

      1. If that’s the case and since android is open sourced, can’t they simply download the source code and dig in?

        1. New development is not open and I’m wondering if Apple is trying to get their hands that.  Of course this comes from a Judge in Chicago. 

    2.  Judge Posner is a 71-year old judge… What the hell does he know about technology?!!!

  4. Watch for Apple to steal some data during this exchange… I would not trust them any further than I could throw a Buick.

    1.  Of all things….a Buick…

      1. that’s the joke

  5. Never bought an apple product and never will. The company is greedy, overpriced and and overhyped. 

  6. OH BOY! now they`ll see all of android source files and who knows WHAT they may do with them! all of the open source information will just be HANDED to apple…now they will see how android is actually made…wait…

    1. Obviously, Apple employees and fanboys could never imagine that an OS’ source code can be just downloaded from a web site with no consequences. They’re just used to thinking that once a company logo slapped on something free, it stops being free (Linux – OS X).

  7. They can in Chicago … they have a long history of corruption. 


  8. As always….

    F Apple.

  9. How Apple gets away with this BS is mind boggling.  The equivalent would be Ford demanding to see GM’s prototypes, just in case they might be using their ideas.  $100 billion sure makes a company arrogant.

  10. Why exactly are you skeptical?  Because you’re a legal scholar with unnaturally keen insight into patent law?  Or because you just like speculating on things that you have no real knowledge about.  Obviously, Apple was able to make a legitimate case to the judge in the brief they filed to justify the need for Google/Motorola to turn over this information.  But I suppose you know more than the judge also.  Have you read the brief Apple filed for this motion?  Have you read the brief filed by Google/Motorola’s counsel as rebuttal?  I suspect you have not, which is why you say it is unclear why Apple requested the information.  If you don’t even know why they asked for the information then why would you make the ludicrous statement that you’re skeptical it has any legs?  

    Remember, sometimes it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

    1. Apple’s legitimate cases are never legitimate.  They prey upon the busted patent system and even more broken legal system regarding patent law.  This has been seen time and time again with Apple patent suits either thrown out or appealed and then thrown out all over the world.  This is just another example of Apple’s legal shenanigans and bullying.  So yes it is unnaturally keen insight which is called precedent based on many dismissed Apple patent suits.  

    2. It’s not that Quentyn is an expert on patent law or anything, but the whole idea, in general, of one company being forced to give confidential company information to its largest competitor just doesn’t seem right. As a reasonably intelligent person, I can’t think of any reason a company would need to see another company’s secret documents besides trying to gain another competitive advantage.

    3. I’m assuming you have then, and know more than the rest of us. You certainly come across that way.

    4. Why are you so sure? Are you a legal scholar with insight into this case? Or are you just speculating on things that you have no real knowledge about? Have you read the brief filed by Apple or the rebuttal by Google/Motorola? I suspect you will say yes, which will make you look like you know what your talking about. If you think you know what your talking about get a job as a patent attorney and go to work for Apple, you’re likely going to have a job for a long time with all the litigation. If you don’t know what your talking about why would you make your ludicrous statement?

      Remember, sometimes it is better to remain a silent apologist for Apple than to speak out and remove all doubt.

    5. I never claimed to be a law major or know more than this judge. I’m just saying I’m not sure why they’d need the data. With the limited amount of details from this initial report, no one is sure why Apple would need the data except everyone who was in that courtroom that day. What are you trying to get at?

      1. I’m saying your speculation that what Apple is cooking will not have legs did not add anything to the article, since it was baseless.  I’m not an a fan boy as some here think (I’ve never owned an iPhone and have been using Android phones for the past 2 years).  I just think that if you’re going to put something in print (even digitally) you should have some basis for it.  Otherwise, just report what you do and do not know.  I have no problem with you saying that it is unclear why they need the information.  But I do have a problem with you saying it has no legs, which is a purely baseless speculation.  Perhaps you could actually interview a patent lawyer and ask him why Apple would request this information.  Or perhaps you could even speculate as to why they would request it.  It is rare that attorney’s request information that they believe will not be pertinent to the case. They are not always correct, and the information does not always end up being relevant.  I understand this is a blog and you are free to opine, but giving an utterly unsubstantiated opinion makes no sense to me.

        As far as whether requesting or obtaining the information is fair or not is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is whether it is legal.  

        All these comments about how what one company does is better/more fair than what another company does is ridiculous.  These companies are all the same, they will take any advantage they can get and they only care about their bottom line-not what we think is fair or better.  If making us happy makes the shareholders happy they will do it.  If there is a conflict between what consumers want and what is best for the company, guess who wins?  There are no good guys and bad guys, there are only corporations who do what they have to do.

        1. I would agree with that, other than the fact that Steve Jobs said he would spend every cent of Apples billions to bring down Android, and I’m sure that anyone in the company close to him would feel the same way. Does that sound like a business based decision?

          1. It does not sound like a sound decision, unless you are sure that another company actually did infringe upon your patents to an outrageous degree.  

            Whether Steve Jobs was right or not, is something that will be determined by experts in the field.  The fact is he had a partnership with MS in the ’80’s and then they used information provided by Apple to develop Windows and Windows went on to become the dominant platform.  Then 20 years later he enters into a partnership with Google (even putting Eric Schmidt on the board) and then Google comes out with a direct competitor to iOS that was entirely different to prototypes they showed off before the partnership with Apple.  It might be a coincidence, but can you blame him for being suspicious?

            We have gone a bit off topic here.  But Google has a history of using other peoples code/tech in a questionable manner (see Oracle).  While Apple’s philosophy may be sue first ask questions later, Google’s philosophy appears to be lets see what we can get away with and then make a deal later (see wifi scanning also). Lets also not forget that almost every android handset maker has struck a licensing deal with microsoft. So, if Google infringed on MS patents what makes you think they didn’t do the same to Apple. Obviously, MS cares more about making money and Apple cares more about “righting a wrong.”

            You have to ask whether forcing android makers to pay even greater licensing fees might have an even greater impact than trying to ban the sales altogether. If Samsung or HTC had to pay $15/phone to MS and $30/phone to Apple they might decide that it was a losing proposition to continue making android phones.

            Lets put aside whether you prefer android/google or apple/ios. If you spent your life dedicated to building up a product and truly believed that someone else ripped off what you had built wouldn’t you be upset-maybe even to an extreme degree?  As someone who has worked hard to invent and patent a technology (biotech, not high tech) I would feel similarly if someone else based a product around something I had worked hard to develop and patent.

          2. Well considering many of Apple patients have prior art and should be invalidated, the fact of them inventing it comes into question. Also, Apple has stolen designs before so their extreme lust to destroy Android is so hypocritical, they even stole the notification bar from Android.

          3. With respect to Apple patents and prior art, it is up to the affected party to take action if that is the case.  Patents can be challenged by anyone who is affected.  As far as the notification bar goes, android is open source and thus is not patent protected so anything there is fair game.  It may not be fair, but its legal.  For you to argue that Apple is wrong to sue others for infringing on their patents because they are not without “sin” themselves is not the way things work.  Whether they are hypocritical or not is irrelevant in the real world.  If they are right then they will prevail in court, if they are wrong they will not.  But they absolutely have a right to take legal action. 

            If someone takes a sledge hammer to your car in retaliation for you breaking their lawnmower, they are still wrong and you would sue them to recover damages.  If they didn’t sue you for breaking their lawnmower that is their fault, that doesn’t mean you should not take action against them. 

      2. you should have replied to him like this:  STFU 

  11. Someone needs to come up with a way to shutdown iphones bad app or something to shut apple the f up

  12. I assume this can be appealed as Apple does any time they lose a patent case?

  13. Would love to see the reasoning behind their request. Android is open source so whatever they need is already publicly available. Android is built in Java and iOS in Objective C. The day corporations can patent the logic in source code and successfully sue and shut down other developers for accomplishing the same solution in a different language using similar logic is the day I just walk away from being a software developer – because I’ll know true innovation is most certainly dead.

    1. This just in… “Apple Patents If, Then, Else, Or logic. Everyone globally now being sued by Apple”

  14. I don’t usually make such a low level statement with nothing surrounding it but I just wanted to take a moment to just say **** Apple!

  15. I’ve always wondered if the judges in these cases have to disclose any ownership of specific technology.  Do they own an iPhone, iPad, Android device, etc.?  It seems if they own one piece or another, they should have to recuse themselves.

    1. well, then u might just have ppl who know nothing about tech overseeing these cases which is a problem that is also being addressed at the same time. 

      but i have noticed that apple product owners seem to have lots of unwarranted feelings about apple, honestly it doesnt make sense, and i dont believe that is just a personal feeling, it think that is how it is. 

    2. Or stock in Apple.

  16. DocRW forgot to take his meds today

  17. Apple really wants a world without competition and innovation other than their own. I say enough is enough and Google needs to put the Don’t Be Evil sign to the side and fight for its own survival. 

    1. Google created this mess by using IP without permission. The solution is for them to settle with the rightful IP owners and spare their partners the expense and hassle of constant IP lawsuits. Simple! 

      1. Which IP did Google use? Drop down notification? 

        Google did not create this mess, Apple filed suit against Motorola, who Google is in the process of buying and now appear to have some legal responsibility to assist them. 

        Those who can do… Those who can’t patent sue. Proud to welcome Apple to Monster Cables patent troll club.

        1. Apple’s strategy is to go after Google’s partners with these lawsuits and win; then go after Google for the kill. If you think this is just about Apple going after Motorola, Samsung and HTC, then you’ve proven that you don’t understand the big picture. Let me clue you in on why the judge gave Apple access to Android development data. Andy Rubin worked for Apple in the late ’80s early ’90s and that’s where Android’s development began. Apple hopes it will show which Apple IP Andy used in Android. This could be devasting to Android.

          1. WRONG. Android has not been in-development since the 80’s. Try 2005 at the earliest.

          2. Of course it wasn’t known as Android back then…anyway, you lack some basic background on this topic. Do some homework before responding.

          3. @Darktanone:disqus Nothing about what I said was wrong. So what is missing besides nothing?

          4. Yes clue me in on why the judge ruled Apple could have access to Androids open source development information.

            You lack some basic background on this topic and should do your home work.  

            Linux (androids base) was not developed until 1991. If you wish to debate that, you can contact Linus Torvalds and debate the date with him. 
            Android is a linux based OS. Java which large parts of the OS use as well as most apps was not developed until 1995 by Sun Micro Systems. 

            So please explain how it was around in the 80’s. Were you even around in the 80’s?


          5. I’m aware of all of that, but you’re still lacking in some basic background info, and now is not the time to debate. I’m about to check out the Apple news conference introducing the next iPad. This is BIG! I’ll fill you in later.

  18. It’s time to troll!!!

    im going to buy the next iphone with 4G speed and use my GN as backup or brick it through rom/kernel changing. since GN got horrible battery life.

  19. I wonder how big the bribe was.

  20. Their goes Apple buying people off… again… and again… and again…..

  21. Apple hasn’t had any luck recently in courts? Guess u aren’t up 2 date. Apple just won 2 back to back lawsuits agains Motorola in Germany. And one against Samsung. 

    1. dude no they didnt

  22. They filed for the injunction in 2010, I see no reason how something so recent could be so relevant to their case.

  23. Hey Judge, Are you Apple F* Boy , eh ?

  24. Where was the courts when Apple and Microsoft ganged up on Google to buy the Northern Telecom patents???

  25. The bottom line is Apple losing the market share, I don`t care how much Iphone has been sold. And what Apple doing right now showing how much the company is weak
    in the market. 

  26. Android can have back ur Notofication give apple back everthing and guess what they left with…emmmmm nothing

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