A US judge has ordered Google to provide Apple with information on how it is searching for documents sought by Cupertino in its seemingly eternal patent-infringement fight with Samsung, rejecting Google's argument that, as a third-party to the case, it isn't bound by the same rules as the two warring parties.
"Third-party status does not confer a right to obfuscation or obstinacy," wrote US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal of the US District Court of the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, in his Thursday ruling.
Google now has 48 hours to inform Apple of the search terms it has used to find the relevant documents, and also to inform them of which Googlers are doing the searching.
The documents in question relate to the use of Google's Android operating system in the Samsung phones that Apple says violate its patents. Providing not only those documents but also details on how they were obtained, Grewal wrote, "will aid in uncovering the sufficiency of Google's production and serves greater purposes of transparency in discovery."
In a footnote to his six-page ruling, Grewal elaborated on his belief that Apple's request was not, as Google claimed, a "burdensome" one.
"The court cannot help but note the irony that Google, a pioneer in searching the internet, is arguing that it would be unduly burdened by producing a list of how it searched its own files," he wrote. ®