Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

Summary: Apple is seeking a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Nexus in the United States over "four killer patents", according to a leading patent expert.

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TOPICS: Apple, Legal
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Apple is seeking a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" device, in a U.S. court. The injunction could see a ban on the device if Apple is successful in its bid.

FOSS Patents author Florian Mueller brought this to light early this morning. He describes these patents as the equivalent to the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse":

  • U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647: a data tapping patent for which the U.S. ITC ordered an import ban against HTC;
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604: a unified search patent that relates to Siri, which could affect Google's mobile search service;
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,046,721: a slide-to-unlock patent that allows devices to do exactly that;
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,074,172: a word completion patent that completes words based for touch-screen text entry;

The preliminary injunction could prevent the Galaxy Nexus from being sold in the Unites States, which would be a serious blow to not only Samsung, but to end-consumers also.

Google brings its Android-based Nexus products to the market with the help from a major manufacturer each time. The Nexus One was manufactured by HTC in January 2010, with the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus both manufactured by Samsung a year on and apart from each other.

The Galaxy Nexus is effectively "stock Android", meaning the operating system is supplied directly by Google, and is free from OEM-related junk.

Mueller asserts that: "Google has sometimes refrained from implementing certain features in "stock Android" just to steer clear of infringement, knowing that some of those functionalities would be implemented by OEMs anyway."

But because Android is in the focus here rather than the devices, Google is stuck in a Catch-22 situation. Either it can remove the functionality and the market knows Google infringed patents, or it can leave it in and face the consequences of the courts.

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Topics: Apple, Legal

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64 comments
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  • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

    I think you need to rethink this article... The Galaxy Nexus (at least the CDMA half of it anyway) was removed from the Google AOSP list so, it is, as of last week, no longer a stock Android Device.

    For the Record, I still maintain the Rezound is the best phone on Verizon.
    slickjim
    • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

      @Peter Perry after using the Thunderbolt since March of last year I bought the Galaxy Nexus in December. I would almost abandon Android altogether before I go back to a Sense UI device. And HTC needs to really rethink the designs of their devices and Sense UI or Moto & Samsung will leave them behind soon.
      Mr_SoloDoelo
      • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

        @Mr_SoloDoelo
        Sense is love it or hate it. Personally, I love it and tend to buy HTC because of it. I'm rooted and change around ROMs often but end up back on Sense for no other reason then Sense integrates features better especially with contacts (exchange, social networks, contact groups, etc.). Personal preference of course.
        gbrowerjr
    • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

      @Peter Perry Wrong. Just because it's not supported by AOSP does not mean it's not stock.
      rstat1
      • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

        @rstat1
        You are sort of correct. Traditionally AOSP does mean stock however, stock could also mean the OEM rom. Depends on the context. The AOSP list he is referring to means "stock android" with out a manufacturer UI overlay.
        gbrowerjr
  • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

    Can this just end? I own lots of Apple gear and I love it, but all this suing is starting to frazzle me. C'mon APPL, Windows stuff is pretty good too. Switching is not that hard nowadays.
    themarty
    • I agree Apple should stop. After all Apple makes so much

      @themarty... money why should it bother protecting itself? So lets see. Apple introduces the iPhone and people and pundits think it's a fail because of this, that and the other thing. MS Balmer laughs at it and RIM is unimpressed. Yet the iPhone proves a success so what do the competition do after all they were unprepared for this turn of events? Well since Apple does not sue they can simply purchase an iPhone and copy not only the hardware/design but the OS as well cause again Apple does not sue! Heck why not it's name, company name, and even put an Apple like logo on their phones? I mean seriously if Apple doesn't mind why should the law?

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • +1

        @James Quinn <br><br>exactly, Apple is and should be tired of all the crap and abuse and defend itself.<br><br>Apple is like the nice guy whom the bullies kick sand in it's face (look Samsung even copied the power connector designs, they copied the icons: apple uses a green icon with a flower.. they use a green icon with a flower etc. , ) <br><br>in the past Apple didn't have the cash or perhaps the smarts as it was a young company and didn't patent thoroughly (law experts say a lot of the Mac OS wasn't patented carefully enough) and it let competitors like Microsoft steal and walk all over it but now it's grown up with muscles. Google is using the Msft playbook, internal emails which they wanted banned from the courts show they knew they infringed on patents like those held by Oracle but decided they would go ahead and just fight in the courts. <br><br>Motorola etc are using Frand patents and patents already licensed out to manufactures like Qualcomm and then suing Apple for using Qualcomm chips i.e 'double dipping'. Enough of the crap. Fight 'em... <br><br>I agree with Jobs... go Thermonuclear and defend yourself.
        Davewrite
      • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

        @James Quinn My statement is meant towards the industry as a whole. If someone comes up with the exact same device and interface, I have no problems with lawsuits. If the device is somewhat different (different controls, different ports, processors) then it becomes wrong. If someone has a good idea, innovation comes from someone else seeing what that person did and then make it (or attend to make it) better. The market decides if it is better or not with their wallet.

        If it's a blatant copy or it infringes company policies (OS on illegal hardware, reverse engineering code, etc) sue. If it's so ambiguous that you need an army of lawyers and millions of dollars to show that it's a copy, that casts a doubt in my mind. Doesn't mean I'm right. But it does mean this: Whatever you build will already have been built or based on an idea you've seen before, therefore you're infringing. If as a little developer you're not ready to handle the cost of litigation then your idea will die and the world will be worst off. And that's what's happening with these type of litigation.
        themarty
      • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

        @James Quinn I'd say Palm is the smart nerdy guy and Apple is his wealthy and more street smart friend who stole all the smartphone ideas, made a preppy version of it, and also made sure that iPhone became more popular. Please stop this nonsense. All those things were way before apple made a more stylish and refined (Yes, I agree) version of an mp3 player or a smartphone. And seriously, "slide to open" IS NOT A FU...ING invention. They can probably get a copyright on this but not an INVENTION. The person who invented the slide bolt latch for the doors is an inventor. The person who made a software version of the same is just the guy who made the software version, not an inventor.
        pupkin_z
      • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

        @James Quinn
        I find it interesting that Apple displays the indignancy of someone who has been wronged. Apple started as company with few qualms about stealing property from someone else when it suited them, case in point the gui and mouse from Xerox. In fact Microsoft did the same thing. Both of these companies have used their financial muscles to patent prior art. I saddens me that companys now think that being patent trolls is good business instead of developing new technologies. Apple has had many opportunities to increase business legitamately such licensing the OS and allowing clones. Apple actually did this for a brief time but that was ended when Jobs came back. I met both Jobs and Wosniak several times many years ago, Woz was and is an amazing , honorable man, Jobs was and is a brilliant man from certain perspectives but even his friends admit he was unscrupulous and not a 'people ' person.
        mkemp@...
  • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

    I suspect this will become the standard modus operandi of Apple now that they've lost Steve Jobs. If you can't innovate, litigate.

    The patent that surprises me though is the unified search one. Can't Google claim prior art since Android phones have had unified search long before Siri showed up?
    charrion
    • So are you saying Steve Jobs was an innovator?

      @charrion... Cause as a long time Apple fan this alone is a kick:) Still under Steve Apple did plenty of suing so no I don't think this has anything to do with Steve's death in fact this case might have been brought up under Steve's supervision. As for unified search it's not just th concept of unified search for anyone can come up with an idea but making it actually work is another thing all together. Same with multi touch. It may very well be that it's not the idea of unified search but the way in which Apple made it work that Apple thinks Google or the like are stepping on.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

        @James Quinn
        even Bill Gates admited that Jobs was an "innovative genius". If he can do it, so can you.
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

        @Habiloso
        Oh, yes, both Bill Gates and Jobs are 'innovative" geniuses. When it comes to racketeering the competition that is. At least with respect to Gates these are the words of an US judge.
        kirovs@...
    • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

      @charrion
      If Google gets involved, expect a lot of prior art for any software based patent. However looking at that patent, it was filed back in 2000 and sounds like a description of Mac finder. It's key points are using multiple heuristics (algorithms) to search multiple data stores.

      I'm more surprised at the word completions one filed in 2007. How many cell phones had word completion with texting prior to that? Web browsers? IDEs? Word processors? Speech recognition? Spell checking?
      BorgX
    • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

      @charrion <br><br>[i]I suspect this will become the standard modus operandi of Apple now that they've lost Steve Jobs. If you can't innovate, litigate.[/i]<br><br>Incase you've been asleep for over a decade, Apple was and still is the definition of innovation. Take a look back at smart phones before the iPhone. Tablets before the iPad. MP3 players before the iPod. And Notebooks before the MacBooks and MacBook Air. Apple is leading because of innovation and it's in their right to protect themselves against non-innovative companies that just want to copy everything Apple does.
      dave95.
      • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

        @dave95.
        INNOVATION, HAHAHHA...
        COPIER, STEALER & BUYER OF OTHER TECHNOLGY - THATS WHAT APPLE IS...
        I had the iPhone 4s then now using the GSM - GALAXY NEXUS (hspa+ version) on T-Mobile.
        FYI, THERES IS NO HINT THAT GALAXY NEXUS COPIED ANYTHING FROM OLD SCHOOL IOS of APPLE.
        Even the pull down notification (ios 5) was rip off from Android and other old smartphone software but NO ONE sue them about that.
        If APPLE will copy, steal or buy other technology - ITS OK but if other phone company will implement it - APPLE will sue the heck out of them.
        I own lots of APPLE products but I will stop buying from them and will look elsewhere.
        For you APPLE - you are the bitch of technology world now...
        sir1honda
      • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

        @dave95.
        I can honestly say I preferred smartphones before iPhone came along. They were great business tools. Now they are toys for kids to watch videos and play games on.
        lippidp
      • RE: Apple seeks Galaxy Nexus injunction in U.S. over four patents

        @sir1honda<br><br>Oh my! Please sir, look up what innovation is. Innovation is not always inventing something, it is also taking an idea and making it better. MP3 players before the iPod was designed for geeks, hard to use, crappy UI, horrible hardware. Apple took the idea of a digital mp3 player and made it 100 times better than what we've had = innovation! <br><br>Now take a look at all their other successful products since the iPod and what the market was before they were released = innovation. There's a reason everyone from Google to Samsung to Microsoft to LG is trying to clone Apple. The Browser you're using now on your Android smart phone is based on the Webkit Engine that Apple coded and released back to the world. The multitouch phones which is now common thanks to the iPhone was non-existent just a few years ago. The App Store business model (30/70 split) your favorite company is now using, same thing. The slim MacBook Air everyone is now cloning (Ultrabooks). iPads = innovation! <br><br>Sheesh!
        dave95.