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1/30/2013
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Apple Asks Court To Force Google Cooperation

iPhone maker accuses Google of unwarranted delays in providing documentation it needs for Motorola Mobility lawsuit defense.

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As Apple prepares its defense against Motorola Mobility's 2010 patent infringement claim, it wants help from Google, which completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility last year.

Apple has argued that it needs a variety of documents from Google about Google's business operations, products and communications with Motorola Mobility, as well as the cooperation of witnesses. Google however appears to be dragging its feet.

So Apple on Monday filed a motion to compel Google to promptly produce documents and designate witnesses as outlined in a subpoena granted by the court.

Citing a history of Google's recalcitrance in Motorola Mobility, LLC v. Apple Inc, which is being heard in Florida in conjunction with Apple's counterclaim, Apple says that Google continues to be uncooperative.

"Undeterred [by prior court orders to cooperate], Google is yet again attempting to block discovery into crucial aspects of this case," Apple's filing states. "Over four months have passed since Apple's subpoena, but to date Google has only produced a limited subset of documents partially responsive to the majority of document requests."

[ Looks like Google's Chromebook gamble is beginning to pay off. Read Chromebooks Actually Selling, Acer Says. ]

In August, Reuters reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Larry Page had met discreetly to discuss the patent conflict between the two companies, raising the possibility of a truce. This latest Apple legal filing makes the possibility of patent peace seem remote.

Apple maintains that Google's stonewalling has continued despite Apple's multiple requests and its provision of detailed information about the claims at issue, and despite agreements Google made on November 1 and November 28 to comply with the subpoena.

"Apple can wait no longer for this crucial discovery," the filing stated. "Google's undue delay, broken promises and failure to assure timely and fully responsive document productions have and continue to prejudice Apple."

Given the extent of Apple's demands, it's perhaps not surprising that Google hasn't been forthcoming with the desired materials.

Apple wants: design specifications that Google provided to Motorola Mobility for software and hardware related to Motorola mobile devices or set-top boxes; any studies exploring Android customer demand for device locking, auto-correction, Google Maps, Google Places and Google Play; all documents that compare Android features to iOS device features; documents that cover revenue related to Google Maps, Google Places and Google Plus; documents showing how much investment Google has made in Android gesture unlocking, auto-correction, Toast notifications, and Google Maps, Places, Plus and Play services; and all communications with Motorola Mobility and third parties related to the Motorola Mobility acquisition, along with documents covering Google's post-merger plans for the company.

Google declined to comment, but the company intends to file an opposition brief, sooner or later.

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