Apple has just been granted another preliminary injunction in their ongoing patent dispute with Samsung. The latest victim: Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone, which, pending a $96 million bond to be payed by Apple, is now temporarily banned from store shelves in the U.S. The injunction was granted by Judge Lucy Koh, who also issued a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 earlier this week.
According to The Verge, Apple’s complaint against the Galaxy Nexus revolves primarily around four patents: US Patent Nos. 5,946,647 (actionable linking), 8,086,604 (multi-source searching), 8,046,721 (slide-to-unlock) and 8,074,172 (touch screen word suggestion). Reuters reporter Dan Levine, who is currently tweeting from the court room, says Koh’s ruling centres around the ’604 patent in particular, which covers “unified search functionality”.
AllThingsD published an excerpt from Koh’s ruling, in which she explains, “Although Samsung will necessarily be harmed by being forced to withdraw its product from the market before the merits can be determined after a full trial, the harm faced by Apple absent an injunction is greater.” Furthermore, Koh believes Apple is likely to win at trial, having successfully demonstrated a “likelihood of irreparable harm attributable to Samsung’s infringement of the ’604 Patent”.
Of course, today’s injunction not only affects Samsung, but Google as well; the Galaxy Nexus is currently Google’s flagship Android phone, and will be the first handset to receive Jelly Bean next month. Google has issued a response to Judge Koh’s ruling today, stating they are confident the decision will be reversed:
“We’re disappointed with this decision, but we believe the correct result will be reached as more evidence comes to light.”
Apple also released a statement today, echoing their response from earlier this week:
“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”
A trial between Apple and Samsung is currently set for late July, during which Apple must prove to a jury that the Galaxy Nexus infringes on their patents, at which point this injunction would become permanent. Of course, Samsung will also have a chance to plead their case to the court, and should they defeat Apple’s claims, the injunction and ban will be lifted.