Google has joined the Microsoft-Motorola fray. Computerworld reports that the search giant is seeking to block testimony by Robert Stevenson, an expert hired by Microsoft. According to a complaint filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission, Google says Stevenson should be barred from testifying about the Android source code because Microsoft did not ask permission before allowing Stevenson to review the source code. The complaint reads:
The protective order governing confidentiality in this investigation explicitly requires that Microsoft disclose to Google any consultant or expert seeking access to Google confidential business information or highly confidential source code before [emphasis in original] allowing a consultant or expert to review such information so that Google has an opportunity to object prior to disclosure.
Last year, Microsoft sued Motorola for allegedly infringing on nine of Microsoft's patents in its Droid mobile handsets. Microsoft then followed up with a second lawsuit claiming that Motorola's royalty fees for both wireless networking and video technologies are far beyond agreed-upon limits. Then the subsidiary Motorola Mobility Inc. sued Microsoft, alleging infringement of 16 patents by a number of Microsoft products. Motorola followed up with a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission over Microsoft's use of patents in its Xbox game console.
Patent activist and analyst Florian Mueller says Google's move is little more than a delaying tactic. Says Mueller:
This is a secondary theater of war. It's about procedural tactics, maybe hoping that this could cause a delay, but whatever the outcome may be, it won't change anything about the substance of this case.