Google Inc. and Motorola Mobility have been ordered to disclose details on the development of the Android operating system to arguably their biggest rival - Apple Inc.
The order came down Monday from Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner, in a U.S. district court in Chicago, as part of an ongoing patent suit between Apple and Motorola Mobility over Android.
Posner also ordered the two companies to provide information on Google's ongoing purchase of Motorola Mobility, as well as Google's purchase of Android Inc. in 2005.
Google is looking to complete a $12.5 billion takeover of Motorola Mobility, which makes phones and tablets that run on the Android OS. So far, the Federal Trade Commission and regulators in Europe have approved Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility.
The patent lawsuit at the center of the fight was filed by Apple in 2010; Motorola later countersued.
Apple and Motorola have made requests for information from the other in court filings, and not every request was granted. Posner denied Motorola's request to have Boris Teksler, Apple's director of patent licensing and strategy, testify in upcoming trials planned in the suit.
In June, a trial regarding Apple's claims that Motorola Mobility has infringed on six of its patents will begin. After that wraps up, a second trial will take place over Motorola's claim that Apple's iPhone has violated three of its patents.
The Chicago suits between Apple and Motorola are part of large number of patent battles between Apple and hardware makers, including HTC and Samsung, that use Android, the most widely used mobile operating system in the world.
The patent battle between Apple and Android users is currently taking place Germany, Europe, Asia and Australia, with more than 20 suits having been filed in at least 10 countries.
Explore further: Bose sues Beats over headphone patents