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Apple scores a second victory this week against Samsung

Apple has been handed its fair share of defeats in court with regards to its patent lawsuits against various Android handset/tablet manufacturers. However, Apple’s fortunes in the U.S. court system have taken on a decidedly more positive note this week. 
On Wednesday, it was reported that Apple scored a pre-trial injunction on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the U.S. courtesy of Judge Lucy Koh in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Judge Koh ruled that Samsung infringed on key Apple design patents, and admonished the company, stating:
Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products. While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung’s infringing products outweighs Samsung’s harm in light of the previous findings by the Court.
Given that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is an older tablet that hasn't seen much sales success in the United States to begin with, the ban isn't much of a hindrance to Samsung. In addition, its follow-up -- the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 -- isn't affected to the sales ban.
However, a ruling that was handed down late Friday is a much more serious threat to Samsung's fortunes in the U.S.
I. Apple Scores its Second Victory This Week, Galaxy Nexus Ban Granted

On Friday, Judge Koh dealt Samsung its second blow for the week in the form of a pre-trial injunction against the Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The Galaxy Nexus was introduced late last year as the poster child for Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich".

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
As she did earlier in the week with regards to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban, Judge Koh once again pointed out that Apple was clearly wronged by Samsung's infringements. "Apple has made a clear showing that, in the absence of a preliminary injunction, it is likely to lose substantial market share in the smartphone market and to lose substantial downstream sales of future smartphone purchases and tag-along products," stated Judge Koh in her Friday ruling.
The pre-trial injunction will go into effect as soon as Apple pays a $95 million bond to enforce the ban.
II. Patents, Patents, and More Patents.
The original motion filed by Apple indicated that Samsung's infringed upon the following patents:
U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 -- Describes a method for retrieving user information from a "variety of locations" from a single interface
U.S. Patent No. 8,046,721  -- This is Apple’s infamous “Slide to Unlock” patent
U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 -- Details detection methods that create functional links from actionable data items like phone numbers, dates, email addresses, or web pages.
U.S. Patent No. 8,074,172 -- Describes touch screen input methods along with display of current character strings or word suggestions as users "type" on the screen
According to Dan Levine, reporting for Reuters, the Galaxy Nexus ban was granted based on infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604.
III. Apple, Google Respond
There's no question that Apple is delighted with this recent turn of events, having scored two legal victories against Samsung this week. However, the company only issued its standard canned response to Friday's ruling:
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.
The four patents being used against Samsung in the case against the Galaxy Nexus revolve around design implementation in Google's Android operating system. For its part, Google issued this response to the ruling:
We're disappointed with this decision, but we believe the correct result will be reached as more evidence comes to light.
Samsung has yet to respond, but we have the feeling that they will go straight for an appeal as they did with the pre-trial injunction handed down against the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Sources: Reuters, The Verge

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RE: Pure Google experience
By Flunk on 6/30/2012 10:09:24 AM , Rating: 2
Google has too many patents, they wouldn't have much of a chance and might end up with an agreement by which they couldn't sue anyone for Android. They don't want that. Going after Samsung, HTC or the other hardware guys for software patents is much easier for them to do.

It's manipulating a system that was never designed to deal with things like this. The court system simply doesn't have the precedent or technical knowledge to really handle these cases.

Microsoft provides legal protection to companies that buy it's OSes against this sort of thing. This is why you don't hear about lawsuits against handset makes for Windows Phone. Google doesn't because their OS is free and legal defence is costly.

RE: Pure Google experience
By Tony Swash on 6/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Pure Google experience
By danjw1 on 6/30/2012 12:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
Google bought Motorola Mobile, which has a fairly large patent portfolio. But a lot of that is FRAND patents. Which aren't all that great for defense. The truth is the whole concept of software patents is broken and stifles innovation.

RE: Pure Google experience
By silverblue on 7/1/2012 3:33:33 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder what proportion of patents at the USPO are IT-related. I also wonder what would happen if the USPO were to reclassify a whole bunch of those as FRAND (you know, obvious candidates such as the shape of a bloody phone).

I will also point out that Windows Phone also allows the ability to pool user information together via their People app. Does this satisfy patent 8,086,604? If so, will Apple decide, or dare to, sue Microsoft over it?

RE: Pure Google experience
By erple2 on 7/1/2012 12:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
patents at the USPO are IT-related. I also wonder what would happen if the USPO were

Technically it's the USPTO (United States Patent and Trade Office).

However, they wouldn't need to - just file an injunction against Nokia, Samsung or whoever makes windows phones.

RE: Pure Google experience
By tayb on 6/30/2012 11:24:45 AM , Rating: 1
Google does not have nearly the patent portfolio of Apple, not even close. Apple has been in the hardware business for decades, Google still isn't really in the hardware business. The Motorola acquisition will bring a lot of mobile patents on board though but I doubt Google will extend those to partners like Microsoft does.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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