Apple demands Android source code in Samsung patent spat

In the name of "transparency," Apple has asked a judge to force Google to hand over elements of the Android OS source code.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

In the next step of the Apple V. Samsung battle, Apple has asked a judge to make Google hand over documents related to the Android operating system.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal in San Jose, California, was told by the tech giant that Google is inappropriately withholding information related to the Android operating system. The iPad and iPhone maker argues that as Google's Android is used in all of the devices that allegedly infringe on patents and "provides much of the accused functionality," Google should be forced to hand over documents related to the operating system's source code.

According to Bloomberg, Apple lawyer Mark Lyon said that it is a "question of transparency," and "We have concerns that they’re [Google's] not doing a full search."

The issue is information discovery. California-based Apple believes that data relating to Android is key to the next stage of the patent dispute, which is set to begin this November. However, allowing Apple to see documents related to the operating system may lead to "future discovery that we don't think they’re entitled to," and "ideas about how to proceed that they wouldn't have had," according to Google and Samsung lawyer Matthew Warren.

In addition, as Google is the third-party in this case, the search engine giant is not entitled to the same legal protections as Apple or Samsung.

The original patent suit resulted in Apple receiving a damage award worth $1.05 billion, although this was later overturned by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh who believed the jury's decision was based on a faulty understanding of patent litigation and the issues involved. Damages were then lowered to $639.4 million, and the new trial is set for some of the contested products in November -- which may lower or increase the award further.

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