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Apple wins access to Google, Motorola documents

Thrusting through the proxy to strike home

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A US judge has ruled that Apple should be allowed access to details about Google's acquisition of Motorola, despite the fact that Google isn't involved in the pending Apple/Motorola cases.

Apple has been fighting a proxy war with Google, suing the makers of Android handsets for various patent infringements as it can't take on Google itself, but once Google acquires Motorola then the proxy war is over, which is why Apple is so keen to get the details as Bloomberg reports:

"The Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defences", according to Apple's lawyers, who successfully petitioned the judge on 2 March as part of the ongoing US patent case between the two companies.

Motorola fought the request, arguing that Google is still a separate company and one not involved in the Apple/Motorola dispute, and therefore can't be obliged to hand over documents or information, but the judge was unimpressed and simply requires compliance from all involved.

Google is, of course, intimately involved. Not a lot of people even remember the Open Handset Alliance, the shell set up by Google to lend Android some industry credibility. In theory, it's the OHA which runs Android, but Android has plenty of credibility now and the OHA site hasn't been updated for almost a year.

As long as Google doesn't make phones Apple can't sue, so it has been going after HTC, Samsung and Motorola, but the target was always Google – and is now very nearly within reach. ®

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