Judge says Apple request for Google, Motorola documents too 'vague'

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A U.S. Circuit Judge has told Apple to "narrow its request" for information on Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility and the development of Android.

Earlier this month, Judge Richard A. Posner granted Apple's request to obtain information from Google and Motorola. The Cupertino, Calif., company had argued that "the Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses" in its litigation against Motorola.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Judge Posner denied Apple's production request on Monday because it wasn't specific enough.

“The motion is vague and overbroad and Motorola’s objections are persuasive,” he wrote.

In a filing last Friday, Apple told the court that Motorola had not yet complied with the original request. According to the report, Motorola had emailed Apple "objecting to the scope" of the information requests.

“If Apple desires a further court order compelling production of data within the scope of the March 5 order, it will have to narrow its request to a manageable and particularized set of documents,” Posner said.

Posner has scheduled two trials between Apple and Motorola for this June. The first will address six patent infringement claims brought by Apple and the second will examine three patents from Motorola.

The legal disagreement between the two companies has expanded across multiple cases in several different countries. Late last week, a German court upheld a Motorola-sought injunction on Apple's push services that affects the company's iCloud product in the country. Back in the U.S., the U.S. International Trade Commission issued a final ruling last Friday that Motorola had not infringed on three of Apple's patents.

Google is in the process of clearing the last obstacles to its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola. Last month, European Union and U.S. regulators approved the deal. According to regulatory filing by Motorola, the company expects the merger to go through in the first half of this year, though it is awaiting approval from China.

Assuming the deal is approved, Motorola will bring 17,000 patents and 7,500 filed patents with it to Google. The search giant has said that it was compelled to acquire Motorola and strengthen its patent portfolio because of "anticompetitive threats" from Microsoft and Apple.


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