Apple seems to be tweaking its approach to its ongoing patent struggles against Google’s Android operating system, as the iOS device maker is now attempting to pull Google head-first into the proceedings in one instance, while working to keep the search giant out of another case.
Apple on Wednesday asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul. S. Grewal to force Google to hand over information on the code powering Android, as reported by Bloomberg. Apple says that the information is necessary, given that Samsung — the defendant in the case — makes devices that run Google’s operating system. According to Apple, Google has been less than forthcoming in turning over court-ordered information on Android.
“It’s a question of transparency,” said Apple attorney Mark Lyon. “We have concerns that they’re not doing a full search.”
The issues involve not only the court-ordered Android code, but also the way Google is searching for the code. Apple contends that the search giant should be required to turn over a larger variety of code to ensure that code that might be infringing is accessible in the trial. Google responds by saying that Apple is overstepping its boundaries by asking for such a wide berth.
Matthew Warren, a Google lawyer says that Apple made a “strategic decision” to omit Google from its complain against Samsung. By turning over the search terms Google is using to go through its code, it could lead to “future discovery that we don’t think they’re entitled to,” giving Apple “ideas about how to proceed that they wouldn’t have had.”
The case in question is the second patent suit brought by Apple against Samsung in the United States. The first case, in which Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict also saw developments.
Apple filed a document in opposition on Tuesday in the face of Google and other companies move to file a “friend of the court” brief in support of Samsung. HTC, Rackspace Hosting, Red Hat, and SAP America would also sign the brief. Apple says that the brief would be improper for the court to accept, as Google is hardly an disinterested party.
Google has played a peripheral role in many of Apple’s legal struggles against the manufacturers of Android handsets. Apple has not named Google as a defendant, preferring instead to move against the handset manufacturers who use the Android operating system for their devices.