The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Nov 03, 2012
 

Microsoft v Google trial raises concerns over secrecy

 
 

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Two weeks before a high-stakes trial pitting Google's Motorola Mobility unit against Microsoft, Google made what has become a common request for a technology company fighting for billions of dollars: A public court proceeding, conducted largely in secret.

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.

Such royalty rates, though, are the central issue in this trial, which begins Nov 13 in Seattle.

United States (US) District Judge James Robart has granted requests to block many pre-trial legal briefs from public view. Though he warned he may get tougher on the issue, the nature of the case raises the possibility that even his final decision might include redacted, or blacked-out, sections.