Apple gets Google secrets

A US judge has ordered Motorola Mobility and Google to turn over information to Apple on Google’s acquisition in 2005 of Android.

The search outfit and its new chum will also have to spill the beans on the development of the Android OS and the proposed acquisition of Motorola.

Richard Posner, who is the judge in Apple’s patent lawsuit against Motorola and Motorola Mobility, granted Apple’s motion to compel Motorola and Google to provide the information about Android and Google’s planned acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

Motorola had told InfoWorld that Apple seeks information outside the “possession, custody, or control” of Motorola as it was not the same entity as Google, which is not a party to the dispute, and it cannot force Google to produce documents or witnesses over Google’s objections.

Google’s acquisition of Motorola and Android was not relevant to any damages asserted in the case, Motorola added. Google is happy to comply with all discovery requests that seek information relevant to the case and is providing witnesses for deposition.

Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion last year. In February, the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission approved the acquisition. The company is still awaiting approvals from China, Israel, and Taiwan.

Apple wanted an order compelling Motorola and Google to provide information on Android and the proposed acquisition of Motorola, as the two companies had not cooperated earlier with Apple’s demand.