Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

Summary: Google's motion to block key testimony from Microsoft and Motorola's patent dispute case has been denied. Google is said to be "afraid" of the outcome.

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A U.S. judge has rejected a move by Google to block crucial testimony of a Microsoft key witness, in an ongoing patent dispute with Motorola.

U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Theodore Essex earlier this week denied Google's motion to block testimony from Robert Stevenson, an Android expert working with Microsoft.

Microsoft has accused Motorola of infringing a patent, with its phones that run Google's Android operating system. Google put forward a motion last week alleging that Microsoft improperly shared "confidential" source code with an expert witness in the case. Google wanted to prevent the witness from testifying, but was shot down earlier this week.

Stevenson is thought to have seen "highly propriety" source code that Google "does not even share with its partners, such as Motorola"

Google should have attempted to resolve the matter with Microsoft, but allegedly did not receive a reply from Microsoft's attorney, CNET reports.

The judge in the case, however, dropped the motion, allowing Stevenson to testify at the upcoming hearing.

Though the patent dispute involves Google in that the discussion on the table relates to its Android operating system, only Microsoft and Motorola -- the two disputing parties -- are allowed to file motions for sanctions.

Google -- which always insists that Android is an open operating system -- clearly is not.

Google is thought to be "extremely afraid" of the outcome to this investigation, according to one source. If it is found that Motorola and other Android-based devices infringe patents belonging to Microsoft, then any of Google's partners would have to pay royalties back to Microsoft.

This comes in the week that Google announced it will acquire Motorola Mobility; the handset making arm of Motorola, which would not only heavily increase Google's patent portfolio, but allow the search giant to become a fully fledged mobile manufacturer.

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Topics: Google, Microsoft, Mobility

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41 comments
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  • Google: "Don't do what I do, do what I say"

    Google Claim #1: We are open source
    Google Claim #2: We treat all our partners equally
    Google Claim #3: We are not infringing on any patents
    Googles Action #1: Closed the source
    Glogles Action #2: Buy the partner in the middle of the patent dispute and then says Microsoft can't reveal anything to its own subsidiary.

    About right?
    Your Non Advocate
    • A little off, I think

      @facebook@...
      since Google has highly propriety source code that Google did not even share with its partners, I guess you should tweak Google Action #1 to read :[i]Closed the [b]rest[/b] of the source[/i]
      William Farrell
      • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

        @William Farrell

        Ever heard of copyleft? It is how linux is copyrighted. Copyleft says that anyone can use, see, modify, etc. the source code for linux but any modifications or additions they make to it must also be copyrighted under the copyleft copyright. So when Google doesn't release source code that is an extension of linux then they are actually breaking the copyright that Linux is copyrighted under. What I don't understand is why no one is filing suit against Google for not releasing source code that they are legally required to release because it is under copyleft.
        josh92
      • @josh92

        Because Google is a "Do No Evil" type of company that only has the best wishes of their subjects... I mean users at heart.

        They are 100% open and transparent in all of their dealings and 100% above board.
        Bruizer
      • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

        @josh92 Without knowing what the code actually is I very much doubt the code Google have not released is Linux KERNEL code, they release that through the Android SDK. Same as the OEM's UI code and drivers, that never gets released because it's propriety and has nothing to do with Linux other than running their software/hardware on top of the Linux Kernel which Google and the OEM's release (eventually once they've stripped their UI and drivers out of it).
        Jayton
      • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

        @William Farrell Do u feel . Why http://www.ommrudraksha.com/products/123-14-mukhi-rudraksha-bead.aspx
        rudraksha1
    • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

      @facebook@...

      Google's PR spin machine is playing the public for fools. Android is not open source. Android is using stolen code and violating IP. Google is dumping the product on the market for free to kill competition. Then they are trying to act like the victims in this mess. The chickens may finally be coming home to roost, but Google's PR spin machine is in full swing claiming that Apple/Microsoft/Oracle are conspiring against Android because they can't compete. Google claims they had no choice but to buy Motorola for it's patents. Anyone who believes that one...

      I am not a Google hater, but it's time for the media to come down hard on this company and stop carrying water for them. It's becoming blatantly obvious that Google hasn't been honest and is trying desperately to cover up their misbehavior.
      cool8man
      • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

        @cool8man "Misbehavior" is an understatement! Any major software company that makes an OS like Android and steals any code or Patent they want can make a cheap, good product like Android. The problem is, they are going to find out is is expensive to not play by the laws of various counties! It has already started with MS getting royalties and now Apple is rightly going for the TKO by keeping Android based products from going to market in various countries.

        When google finds itself on the outside looking in after a few short years in the phone business, it will only have its search and ad money to push at people. Of coarse by then, Bing will have more market share.
        rmark@...
      • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

        @cool8man & @rmark

        You guys are just ridicolous.

        1: Android is open source. That means the Linux kernel, Dalvik, the default drivers, the default launcher, keyboard app, etc...
        HOWEVER, most Android phones are sold with Android Market, Gmail and Maps installed. THOSE APPS are closed. NOT ANDROID! The difference is HUGE!

        2: Where's the evidence for "stolen IP"?
        First of all even the law does not acknowledge theft of IP. It deals with *infringement*, which is to use it without consent.
        Second, there's NO evidence that any code were stolen. NONE! If you're pointing to code that looks like it just were rewritten, all those files are standard files that must work in a certain way. Like with the Linux kernel headers, even Linus Torvalds himself has said that those headers essentially are public domain, simply because they have to be if anybody want to release software that interacts with the kernel and not have release that under GPL too.
        And regarding patents: Most of those patents are crap, and the judge in the Oracle case have acknowledged that some of them are weak. They might just as well all be revoked. Also, Sun did explicitly say that they were happy with Google using the Java language for Android. Sun doesn't seem to have cared about suing over IP infringement over those patents that Oracle now is suing over.

        3: Yes, Google has been behaving a bit irrationally. I guess they simple never were prepared for this.

        4: @rmark: Well, I've tried Bing a few times. I have no intention to waste my time on it again for a few more years. Maybe I'll try it again in 2015 if it's still around by then, it might just give me relevant results.
        Natanael_L
  • Android Better Be Good

    If the OEMs have to pay Microsoft to use Android, they might as well pay Microsoft to use WP7. At least Microsoft isn't competing with them (yet).
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

      @Robert Hahn Except... since Google acquired large patent portfolio from Motorola, then OEM who leave Google, will have to pay Google for patents license?
      tatiGmail
      • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

        @tatiGmail
        Nope, Microsoft covers their OEMs. Microsoft is not new to this business with OEMs and ODMs unlike Google.
        Ram U
  • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

    Set 1, game 1

    Microsoft - 1
    Google - 0

    Note:
    --------
    Seed: MS - Number 1
    Google - Unseeded

    Seed is determinded based on patents developed inhouse.
    owlnet
    • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

      @owlnet this case is not even heard yet and you are already claiming victory?
      tatiGmail
      • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

        @tatiGmail Where have you been. Google has been on a losing road. HTC initial hearing with apple is in apples favor so far, the oracle case is in oracles favor and now this one.
        illwill112
  • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

    Google is turning into this century's Microsoft.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

      @Cylon Centurion At least Google's products fit my needs better than Microsoft's! lol
      ke6gwf
      • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

        @ke6gwf

        Well then have fun with Google prying into your life. Lol
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

      @Cylon Centurion

      No, Apple turned into this decade's Microsoft. I haven't figured out what Google is turning into, but it sure is convoluted!

      @ke6gwf

      Google is prying into my life. M$ pried into my wallet, (and will also pry into my life if they ever get a decent search engine going.)

      M$ charges out the butt for its products, unless they are trying to kill some competition, then they will lose billions to achieve their goals. Google gives it's products away, and we all know they will make money on the back end of search, data, and ads. Neither are angels, but Google's model is a lot better
      for the average person and/or small business. I may regret it later, but right now I am rooting for Google. But bashing any of the major players in favor of another is just fanboy-ism. They all are out for obscene profits.
      mlashinsky@...
  • RE: Judge denies Google's witness complaint in Microsoft-Motorola dispute

    It appears that none of these companies is faultless in this whole mess. Although some seem to be acting in a very greedy manner.
    Why don't these people stop wasting their money on legal fees and hire some great engineers that will improve the reliablity of their products and make them less amenable to hackers?
    donpar@...