Oracle asks court to force Motorola to testify

Oracle says Motorola has been stonewalling its requests for information about its Android implementation

Oracle has asked an Illinois court to force Motorola to hand over information relevant to Oracle's lawsuit against Google.

On Friday, Oracle filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois asking the court to order Motorola to turn over information and offer an executive who can testify about its implementation of Android.

Oracle wants to see the code that Motorola has downloaded from Google's http://android.git.kernel.org website, as well as any changes Motorola has made to that code. Oracle also wants to see how Motorola uses the Android dx tool, which is one of the functions that Oracle accuses Google of copying. It also wants the chance to interview a Motorola witness.

The information will show whether Motorola uses the infringing technology, Oracle said. "Deposition is necessary to determine if Motorola uses the accused technology in developing applications for Android, because Motorola has not produced any documents regarding its internal application development," Oracle wrote.

Oracle claims it has been asking Motorola to produce the information and a witness since April 12, to no avail. "Motorola has offered no good excuse for its refusal to provide a witness in response to Oracle's proper subpoena," Oracle said in the motion. "Motorola has simply stonewalled, citing scheduling conflicts."

The phone maker may be dragging its feet because it hopes Google will shield it from becoming involved in the Oracle lawsuit or because it expects Oracle to soon start negotiations over a licensing fee, Florian Mueller, a patent expert, wrote in a blog post on Friday. He expects the Illinois court to comply, forcing Motorola to turn over the requested information and make a witness available.

Motorola did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Oracle has until Aug. 15 for discovery, which is the period during which it can uncover evidence for its case.

Oracle filed the lawsuit against Google last year in California, charging the search giant with infringing Java patents in Android. Since it acquired Sun Microsystems, Oracle has controlled Java.

Motorola, which only makes phones using the Android operating system, has been attacked on several fronts for its use of the software. Microsoft has sued the handset maker in federal court and the U.S. International Trade Commission over its Android phones. Apple has also sued Motorola, charging patent infringement in its Android phones.

Google licenses Android to phone makers with no assurances of protection if other companies sue for patent infringement. That means other Android phone makers, including Samsung and HTC, also have been the subject of patent-infringement suits for their Android phones.

A jury trial for Oracle's suit against Google is scheduled to begin Oct. 31.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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Nancy Gohring

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