Earlier today, a federal judge denied Samsung’s request to delay the ban on sales of the Galaxy Nexus in the United States. Hours later, reports came in about Google working on an over the air software update that would let Samsung avoid the sales ban. The Galaxy Nexus also seems to have been pulled off Google’s Play Store, with the phone’s availability status changed to “Coming Soon”.
The patch seems to be a temporary solution to the patent issue by Samsung and Google and the former plans to continue to appeal the ban. According to a report by The Verge, Apple has posted a nearly $96 million bond and the injunction is basically in full effect. However, the report states that the court “will still need to go back and examine Google's assertions that the upcoming OTA update of the Galaxy Nexus will be a legitimate workaround to the '604 patent.” Google says it will assist Samsung in its efforts to fight the ban.
A big blow to Samsung
The Apple vs. Samsung case has been a long one. Apple has waged the international patent war since 2010 as it seeks to limit the growth of Google's Android operating system. A few days ago, a US Judge granted Apple’s request for a pre-trial injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. And a day before that, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh made a decision to halt the sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1. The federal appeals court, however, then asked Koh to “reconsider Apple's request on the tablet”.
The judge was quoted as saying, “Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products.” She further added that the decision should come into effect once the Cupertino-based company posted a $2.6 million bond protecting against damages suffered by Samsung, “if the injunction is later found to have been wrong”.
Earlier in June, Apple tried to halt the sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S III in the US under the same patents as the Galaxy Nexus. According to the motion filed by Apple, the S III infringes on “at least two of the Apple patents at issue in the preliminary injunction motion for the exact same reasons as the Galaxy Nexus”. Elaborating on this, the motion adds, “…the Galaxy S III contains the same features accused of infringing U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 (Unified Search) as the Galaxy Nexus, and that the S III infringes the patent in precisely the same way as the Galaxy Nexus.”
Although the Galaxy Nexus is by no means a big seller for Samsung, it’s a very important phone for Google as it was the first phone to come out with Android version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board. It is also the phone Google gave away to developers at the recent Google I/O in order to test the upcoming Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
To learn more about the Apple vs. Samsung battle that has been going on for two years, click here.