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Motorola repeats request for iOS 6 source code

updated 09:43 am EST, Fri November 23, 2012

Apple on third promised deadline

Apple has failed to supply the iOS 6 source code as promised, Google-owned Motorola has complained to the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. In the lawsuit it is pursuing against Apple, Motorola says it needs the code to perform infringement analysis. The company first made a request for source code on May 30th, and specific iOS 6 demands on August 7th, October 25th, and November 6th, the last tagged with a request that Apple provide a "date certain." The new complaint notes that Apple has repeatedly promised to provide the code, but missed September 21st and November 9th deadlines it set; another one was recently set for November 30th.

Motorola comments that two months have passed since iOS 6 was released, and that almost four months have lapsed since the launch of OS X Mountain Lion, which it's also seeking for analysis. If Motorola doesn't receive the iOS code sometime before December 14th -- with enough time to have experts scrutinize it -- it won't be able to add the iPhone 5 and/or iPad mini to a list of allegedly patent-infringing products.

FOSS Patents notes that Motorola and Google also met yesterday at the Munich Higher Regional Court for an appeals hearing. Apple won an injunction against Motorola in March, on the basis of a photo gallery page-flipping patent. The same patent was used to score Apple a preliminary Dutch injunction against Samsung in August last year.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Kees

    Junior Member

    Joined: 09-15-01

    This article is incredibly uninformative. Did the judge actually demand Apple hand over its trade secrets? Did the judge set the dates, or did Moto come up with them? Does Apple actually intend to give them the code? Does Apple deny or confirm having promised to give said code?
    Being asked to give MotoGoogle the source code to iOS sounds like a laughably unreasonable demand. Come on guys, a little more effort please.

  1. JeffLass

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-21-07

    This is obviously a veiled attempt by Google to get at stuff that it has no business seeing. It's a Google/Motorola sham n' scam operation. Who does Google think it's kidding? What nonsense! Google/Motorola should be told to go phuc themselves by the court AND APPLE. Proprietary software is just that -- PROPRIETARY -- and therefore closed to all that are not part of the company. If one suspects "infringement" then Google/Motorola should prove it by logic and example, AND SPECIFICALLY SHOW what exact areas are being infringed. Better yet: Google/Motorola should be made to GIVE TO Apple their code since Apple came out with the iPhone and iPad FIRST, and if anyone is infringing, it's probably Google/Motorola and doing so against Apple's iOS. Google/Motorola're obviously taking the pathetically transparent tack of "since we're wrong, let's attack" which is exactly the same method that Samsung uses in the courts. One of Apple's big mistakes was letting Eric Schmidt sit on its board for so long little realizing that he was actually an industrial spy for Google/Motorola and their future competitive plans.

  1. eclux

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-07-08

    An infringement would be against a patent, not against a product. It's not about comparing Apple products to Motorola products, but Apple products to Motorola patents. Motorola may have been granted a patent, which they have a legal right (even an obligation) to defend even if Apple brings a related product to market before Motorola does. If the patent involves code, rather than appearance or behavior that is externally observable, the only way to determine infringement would be to examine the code. I don't know the specifics of this case, but I think you are confusing common sense with patent law :)

  1. gentooq

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-05-08

    patent cases could be prosecuted against products, as in the samsung case; or could be for functionality, as in the 'swipe to unlock' cases; or could be for code, as in the silly attempt to ransom Unix against any and all Linux variants SCO could find.

    i agree with the first responder that this 'article' is woefully short on anything even vaguely resembling substance. the writing is long on innuendo and has non sequitur in spades but nil on substance, still, regardless of what the patent is for, it seems reasonable that a patent holder has the right to expect in court that there be some substantive and demonstrative support for a discovery demand . . . especially for something like 'iOS 6 source code'. google/motorola, unless something has recently and markedly changed in jurisprudence, must show what anchors their belief that there is infringing code in iOS 6 and we aren't talking suspicions here.

    for source code, unless they have an inside source or unauthorized access to the source, i would expect it to be hard to support that belief on anything less than an argument similar to "in the six years we've been working on solving [description of problem], we have tried 437 variants in code and only one of them resulted in functional code that ran as quickly as iOS 6 performs [description of action] and we therefore have belief that they have infringed on our patented code." even IF google/motorola made such a demand and it were accepted by the court, i would still expect that ONLY the accused section of code would be required to be revealed so that it could be learned if there were an iteration number 438 that would also have produced acceptable results.

    finally, playing the devil's advocate here, has anyone even suspected that IF apple DID vaguely promise to hand over source code to google/motorola without the court's direction, they might have been doing it to cause google/motorola to miss the 12/14/12 filing deadline? google/motorola go back to the court on 12/13/12 and ask for more time to file and the court says "uh uh. yes, we're sorry (and amused) that apple's defense team tricked you but uh uh."

    these are my observations based on what i have seen in the past. i am not an attorney, nor a non-attorney spokesperson (*rant* lord do i wish i could vaporize this crowd *rant*), nor do i play one on TV, so don't bother lecturing me on which critical parts of the law i have wrong.

  1. Techn0b0y

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-27-12

    Err, this is ridiculous on many accounts.

    iOS is written in Objective C. No other platform uses Objective C. More generally you can't just take code written on one device and copy it to another because or programming language barriers. So the accusation of a mobile company infringing on source code made for an incompatible platform is very sketchy.

    Asking a company to release the source code of their operating system is absurd. This is very valuable proprietary data. I can't believe Apple apparently promised this (sources + references please!), or that Motorolla would expect Apple to give up its code willingly.

    Finally, iOS started the mobile revolution. Other platforms copy iOS, not the other way around. And just the design principles, not the actual source code.

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