Apple is gaining the upper hand in its legal battles with Samsung. Last week, Apple won a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. However, that was a pretty hollow victory since that tablet was already obsolete.
Now, however, the same district judge, Judge Lucy Koh, has granted Apple another preliminary injunction against Samsung, this time for its Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The injunction will go into effect as soon as Apple pays a bond of around US$96 million - an amount which we are sure Apple will have no problem coming up with and will be more than happy to put up. The money ensures that Samsung can be compensated financially if the injunction is successfully appealed.
Reuters legal reporter Dan Levine, who was in the courtroom for the ruling, has indicated that the injunction focuses on Samsung's infringement of US patent number 8,086,604, and that the injunction can go into effect after Apple posts a bond of around $96 million. The '604 patent covers searching multiple areas for information (on a device and elsewhere) through a single search interface, and using predetermined heuristic algorithms corresponding to each search area — a lot like Apple's Siri. That's a big deal because the infringement finding is directed to core voice and search functionality within Android. And that's before considering the recent introduction of the Google Now system.
Apart from the aforementioned patent, Apple also alleges that Samsung's Galaxy Nexus also infringes on three other patents US Patent Nos. 5,946,647 (actionable linking), 8,046,721 (slide-to-unlock) and 8,074,172 (touch screen word suggestion).
Although only a preliminary injunction, Apple could turn it into a permanent injunction if they win at a trial in front of a jury. A win could also have significant impact on other Samsung Android products.
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