As we know, just about everyone in the smartphone industry is suing everyone else. Microsoft is suing Motorola (which has been bought by Google) over patent issues involving Motorola's Android phones. Google stepped in last week and filed a motion to block Microsoft's Android Expert, Mr. Robert Stevenson, from testifying. Google asserted the claim that Microsoft violated confidentiality agreements and disclosed source codes to Mr. Stevenson. Source codes on an operating system everyone thought was open sourced.
The U.S. International Trade Commission Judge handed down his ruling on Google's motion and Google got the short end of the stick. However, the ruling may have opened the door for more litigation.
Judge Theodore Essex denied the motion stating that only parties in a complaint are allowed to move for sanctions. The Judge wrote,
"Google has not set forth any legal support for the proposition that a non-party may move for sanctions."
So the expert witness can testify and the wheels of justice can continue to grind. Still there are two things to watch with this case.
First, will Google file a seperate claim against Microsoft so they can become a "party" and seek sanctions against Microsoft?
Second, if it is ruled that Motorola has infringed on Microsoft patents and Google's Android hardware partners have to pay royalties to Microsoft, would the $12.5 billion deal have been a bust?