updated 09:44 pm EDT, Wed April 17, 2013
Apple decries quality of documents returned by search engine
As part of the 2014 Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent trial motions, Apple has filed a request to compel discovery from Google. In support of the motion, Apple filed a reply brief saying that the response from the search engine was poor, and that it "wants to work cooperatively with Google to correct these flaws," implying that Google has a broken automated search process, or that it is purposely using poor search terms to seek internal copyright documents which could be relevant to the upcoming trial.
Google has argued that it would be a burden to require disclosure of search terms, and that it is a third party in the case. In its filing, Apple says of Google's claim that "characterizing Google as merely a 'third party' fails to capture the full extent of Google's involvement and collaboration with Samsung regarding the subject matter of this lawsuit. Google developed Android, which is used in the accused Samsung products and provides much of the accused functionality. Google and Samsung jointly developed the Galaxy Nexus, which is one of the accused products."
Cupertino noted that Google had selectively involved itself in litigation. The claim continues by saying "Google affirmatively chose to involve itself in this litigation by providing declarations from its engineers to support Samsung's positions during the preliminary injunction phase of the case. Finally, in connection with Apple's subpoenas, Google retained the law firm representing Samsung in this case, and used the same lawyers representing Samsung within that law firm. In addition, both Google and Samsung have repeatedly resorted to claims of a 'common interest privilege' in refusing to produce documents in this case."
Google's "variable geometry" in positioning itself in Android patent lawsuits has not gone unnoticed by patent analyst Florian Mueller. Mueller believes that "Google should accepts its responsibility for Android's infringement issues" and believes that "Google can run, but it can't hide."