Judge Orders Google to Give Apple Info in Samsung Patent Case

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Apple won another small victory in its ongoing patent infringement fight with Samsung on Thursday when Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal ordered Google to hand over the search terms it used when providing court ordered documents related to its Android OS code. The order came in Apple and Samsung's second patent infringement case in the United States where Google has been resisting requests for information while claiming it is an impartial third party that shouldn't be involved.

Google loses control over Android documents in Apple & Samsung patent fightGoogle loses control over Android documents in Apple & Samsung patent fight

Judge Grewal disagreed with Google's arguments and ordered the Internet search giant to reveal the search terms it used to find the documents it submitted to the court along with the names of certain people involved in the process. Google provided so few documents that Apple's legal team questioned how the searches were conducted.

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents commented,

Apple was thoroughly disappointed by Google's production (i.e., delivery) of documents and attributed the scarcity of search results to the use of suboptimal search terms. Given Google's expertise in search, this could only be intentional, of course.

Apple isn't getting additional documents from Google, but instead is being given the list of terms used to find the documents it already has. Depending on how Google came up with its document list, Apple may come back with its own search terms in hopes of compelling the company to release more documents.

This case with Samsung mirrors one Apple won last August, but involves newer products such as the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III smartphones. Last year's trial ended with over US$1 billion in damages Samsung was ordered to pay Apple. Some of that ruling was set aside and will be the focus of a new trial this fall since the Jury in the case improperly awarded some of damages. The damages retrial is different from this second patent infringement case.

Apple's interest in the documents it received from Google stems from the fact that Samsung's devices in the new trial all run Google's Android OS. While some features in question are Samsung-specific add-ons, others come directly from Google's base operating system.

Google's resistance in revealing the search terms it used could be a sign that the company intentionally targeted words and phrases that would reveal as little as possible. If so, there's a good chance Apple will push for a revised document search with terms it specifies.

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It's understandable that Google wouldn't want to reveal any more than it has to, but if the company intentionally sandbagged its searches there's a good chance we'll see Judge Grewal order a new search that compels the company to release far more than it wants to.

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Lee Dronick

We might as well get this stuff out of the way and save the kids the trouble of posting it.

Apple needs to innovate not litigate.

Open source is where it is at

The Constellation ZB415X SuperTech is a better smart phone than the iPhone


Try Bing.

Lee Dronick

I have switched to Bing as my default search engine/


Actually the suggestion was for Google. wink


I read elsewhere this incredibly funny quote from the judge in this case:

“The court cannot help but note the irony that Google, a pioneer in searching the Internet, is arguing that it would be unduly burdened by producing a list of how it searched its own files,” Judge Grewal wrote in the order.

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