Oracle has filed a motion with a court in Chicago in an attempt to force Motorola to reveal how it uses Android in its handsets, in the latest twist in the ongoing patent dispute between Oracle and Google.
The Oracle filing argues that Google has knowingly used Java technology in Android without paying for licences, and that Motorola, as a major manufacturer of Android devices, should therefore reveal details on its use.
"Oracle seeks to depose Motorola to confirm that the Android software is installed on Motorola's Android devices and to determine if any changes have been made to the software," the filing said.
"Oracle further seeks to confirm that Motorola uses the accused technology in developing applications for Android."
The document also claims that Oracle has been forced to take this action after Motorola refused voluntarily to hand over the information.
"Oracle verifies that it has consulted with Motorola by telephone and email, and has made good faith attempts to resolve this matter with Motorola but was unable to do so," the filing said.
"Motorola's counsel produced a single document [on 15 June 2011] that appeared to be a log of changes that have been made to some undefined set of Motorola's Android software. The log is the only technical document that Motorola has produced to date."
Patent expert Florian Mueller believes that Motorola is probably stalling in the hope that Google will fend off the lawsuit, as it could cost the firm around $15 to $20 per handset in royalties if Oracle succeeds.
"I believe what Oracle wants to know from Motorola is very reasonable. It's definitely relevant to the dispute and it doesn't seem too burdensome a request," he said.
"I venture to guess that the Chicago-based court will grant this motion to compel Motorola's testimony."
The Oracle and Google case has been rumbling on for some months. Both sides have attempted to undermine the credibility of the other's arguments, and Oracle has been told to reduce its original payment demands of up to $6bn.
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