Apple asked for an injunction against the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the United States back in February and what Apple wants, Apple gets. The U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh is the judge that has granted Apple the preliminary injunction; she is also the same judge that issued the Galaxy Tab 10.1 injunction earlier in the week. For the injunction to take effect in the retail sector Apple will have to post a bond of $96 million.
Judge Koh has ruled that the Galaxy Nexus infringes upon four patents. The key patent in this case is to do with multiple source searching. This covers any interface that searches multiple sources of information and streams it back to one interface. This patent appears to be protecting Apple's Siri voice assistant. Considering search is deeply integrated into Android (and Google for that matter) this could spell trouble.
The other three patents involve link actions, word suggestions and slide to unlock functions. Fortunately for Samsung some of these infringements were solved with the upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Apple's statement following today's court ruling follows:
“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.”
“We're disappointed with this decision, but we believe the correct result will be reached as more evidence comes to light.”
The trial is set to begin in late July. If Samsung wins here then the injunction is forgotten and Apple has to pay damages to Samsung. If Apple wins the injunction could become permanent. However, in the immediate short term Samsung will likely appeal the decision which could result in the modification of today's decision.
KitGuru says: A real legal storm could be coming and no matter who the victor is all consumers will suffer.