Upcoming Google-Microsoft trial causing secrecy concerns

Microsoft has been in legal proceedings with Motorola Mobility long before the smartphone company was acquired by Google earlier in 2012. Now Microsoft and Google are set to start a trial in Seattle later this month to address Microsoft's challenges to Motorola's patent prices.

However, Reuters reports that Google is already trying to keep much of what is discussed in the trial a secret. The report claims that Google has issued a request to the judge in the case, US District Judge James Robart, to not only seal off public access to certain documents but to even clear out the courtroom itself during some parts of the trial.

Google is apparently concerned that certain company secrets might come out as part of the trial. However, the story claims that a number of legal experts are concerned that companies such as Google are going to such great lengths to keep some information private during trials such as this one.

Law professor Dennis Crouch believes that actions taken by Google and other organizations to keep secrets in court cases does ultimate infringe on the principle that all activities in court should be public.

Microsoft originally filed a lawsuit against Motorola in 2010, claiming that Motorola broke a promise to license standard patents at a reasonable rate. The trial is set to begin in this case on November 13. So far, the judge has yet to rule on Google's requests to keep some parts of the trial secret.

Source: Reuters
Woman being silent image via Shutterstock

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Google and Microsoft, like rivals embroiled in smartphone patent wars, are eager to keep sensitive business information under wraps - in this case, the royalty deals they cut with other companies on patented technology. Microsoft asked for similar protections in a court filing late on Thursday.

So both as bad as one another really , personally I couldn't give a hoot if they want to keep something secret if it's not pertinent to the case at hand why should it become public knowledge

Google is getting evil by the mintue. Gov & Europe is getting ready sue google. I think its time google gets broken up.

Melfster said,
Google is getting evil by the mintue. Gov & Europe is getting ready sue google. I think its time google gets broken up.

This is similar what Microsoft has been through.
Google also needs a giant slapping in the face to pull them back towards the earth from floating around in their bubble of power.
Google has to go back to its principles, back to the Google many of us came to love and cherish but has been long gone.
Even though Google currently is far worse for us then MS has ever been, I do hope all these b*tch slapping's will straighten Google out more.

...and Google is a champion of 'Open Source'.

Google has a lot of skeletons in their closet. Some are known, but not widely talked about or known to the general public.

The irony, the 'close source' company is not the one requesting privacy.

thenetavenger said,
...and Google is a champion of 'Open Source'.

Google has a lot of skeletons in their closet. Some are known, but not widely talked about or known to the general public.

The irony, the 'close source' company is not the one requesting privacy.


What would those skeletons be?

I doubt the judge will grant it, don't see why the judge should give preference unless both parties agree and it needs to be keep secret for good reason.

Looking forward to the juicy details.

pierrerv said,
Google don't want people to know how much of a rip-off company they are. those suckers

Little of Google's tech has anything to do with this, they inherited this court case when they bought in.

thealexweb said,

Little of Google's tech has anything to do with this, they inherited this court case when they bought in.

Why did you even think the post had anything to do with Google's tech? Their search engine technology is great, even if they ripped off data from Alta Vista in the 90s.

As for 'buying in', Motorola didn't start or responsd to the lawsuits with Microsoft UNTIL Google was in talks with them. It was under Google's recommendation that Motorola did not license Microsoft's patents for use in their phones. So Google didn't inherit this whatsoever.

Any normal buyout, the company would be aware of current and pending litigation.

If Google did 'inherit' this as you state, they could have stopped the litigation they let proceed after the purchase was complete, that escalated the cross patent disputes.

If anything, the people at Motorola are the ones that got screwed, as Google reassured them to fight Microsoft and they would be able to defend them.

Here is something else to note and why there is irony is all of this... The licensing of Windows Phone OS protects the MFRs, so that if HTC gets sued for a Windows Phone, Microsoft is the one that 'specifically' takes responsibility for the OS and defends them.

Google has stood by and let Samsung and others get slapped around by Apple, so there is a bit of humor that their purchase of Motorola put themselves directly in the crosshairs of Microsoft.

Prior to them owning Motorola, Google was not a direct MFR nor did they directly USE or PROFIT from Android in a product. The Google Phones and Tablets were made by HTC, Samsung, LG and the contract was Google branding, so all device liability was and is the responsibility of the MFR.

Google, welcome to the real world, and Good Luck with keeping all your shady crap out of public purview.

thenetavenger said,

Why did you even think the post had anything to do with Google's tech? Their search engine technology is great, even if they ripped off data from Alta Vista in the 90s.

As for 'buying in', Motorola didn't start or responsd to the lawsuits with Microsoft UNTIL Google was in talks with them. It was under Google's recommendation that Motorola did not license Microsoft's patents for use in their phones. So Google didn't inherit this whatsoever.

Any normal buyout, the company would be aware of current and pending litigation.

If Google did 'inherit' this as you state, they could have stopped the litigation they let proceed after the purchase was complete, that escalated the cross patent disputes.

If anything, the people at Motorola are the ones that got screwed, as Google reassured them to fight Microsoft and they would be able to defend them.

Here is something else to note and why there is irony is all of this... The licensing of Windows Phone OS protects the MFRs, so that if HTC gets sued for a Windows Phone, Microsoft is the one that 'specifically' takes responsibility for the OS and defends them.

Google has stood by and let Samsung and others get slapped around by Apple, so there is a bit of humor that their purchase of Motorola put themselves directly in the crosshairs of Microsoft.

Prior to them owning Motorola, Google was not a direct MFR nor did they directly USE or PROFIT from Android in a product. The Google Phones and Tablets were made by HTC, Samsung, LG and the contract was Google branding, so all device liability was and is the responsibility of the MFR.

Google, welcome to the real world, and Good Luck with keeping all your shady crap out of public purview.


sir, I salute your logic and knowledge....you may not be aware that such commodities are not welcome 'round here'.

thanks, the internet.

thenetavenger said,

Why did you even think the post had anything to do with Google's tech? Their search engine technology is great, even if they ripped off data from Alta Vista in the 90s.

It was in response to the poster that thinks that Google wants it secret to prevent them from being exposed as the rip-off company they are, as the lawsuit is entirely regarding Motorola, there's no point in suggesting it was kept a secret due to google tech or details of possible privacy issues.

However your off-topic point regarding the litigation itself i will just say that Microsoft should barely stand as the beacon of shining light in patent disputes at all, they're pretty bad themselves with insanely high rates and notice of infringement without any details until the "debt" has been paid. (Borderline mafia tactics right there)

Funny thing, Google wants to know EVERYTHING about you and keeps spying, dishonoring cookie settings, etc. but when roles reverse, they become uber sensitive.