Apple requests U.S. preliminary injunction against Android flagship device Samsung Galaxy Nexus based on four high-power patents

“Apple has brought a motion in the United States for a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus, the official Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”) lead device developed by Samsung in close cooperation with Google,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.

“A public redacted version of the filing, which was made on Thursday with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, became available late on Friday,” Mueller reports. “I believe the court will rule on this motion within a matter of months.”

The motion is based on four patents, which are the patent equivalent of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:
1. the ‘data tapping’ patent based on which the ITC ordered an import ban against HTC
2. a patent related to Siri and unified search, which must be of huge concern to Google with a view to its core business
3. a new slide-to-unlock patent that even had the head of the Taiwanese government profoundly worried
4. a word completion patent that provides major speed improvements for touchscreen text entry

Mueller reports, “Three of these patents were granted only recently. Their numbers start with an ‘8,’ and the eight millionth U.S. patent was issued in September 2011. The only older one, the ‘data tapping’ patent, should be a slam dunk. It succeeded in the ITC, a notoriously difficult forum where only about 1 out of 20 smartphone-related patents is deemed violated. It also says something that HTC removed the feature and didn’t even appeal that part of the ITC ruling (though Apple appealed other parts).”

“For every major version of Android, Google partners with one hardware company to develop an official lead device that comes with a time-to-market advantage for the vendor in exchange of the device makers’s compliance with Google’s rules,” Mueller reports. “Those lead devices always contain the word ‘Nexus’ in their name.”

“The version of Android that is installed on those devices is commonly referred to as ‘stock Android,’ meaning it’s Android as supplied by Google, without vendor-specific enhancements on top,” Mueller reports. “When companies like Apple assert patents against Android devices, some of the infringement contentions relate to features that reside at the level of extensions developed by OEMs. Google has sometimes refrained from implementing certain features in ‘stock Android’ just to steer clear of infringement, knowing that some of those functionalities woul be implemented by OEMs anyway.”

Mueller reports, “In this case, stock Android itself is at issue. This means that Google cannot deny its undivided responsibility for any infringement findings.”

Much more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

34 Comments

  1. From the Steppes of Cupertino rides the Apple horde, laying waste to all before it, salting the Google fields and stacking the skulls of Samsung and Motorola in a funeral pyre of awesomeness.

    1. Your analogy is exciting, and profound, but rather than the Mongol hordes I say it’s Alexander the Great.

      The Mongols left corpses and smoldering embers behind in their conquests, but little cultural enhancement. In contrast, despite being as ruthless and pitiless as Genghis Khan, Alexander was canny.

      He founded cities (Alexandria among them), subsumed local customs and religions, and conscripted his defeated rivals (as did another genius later, Napoleon). It wasn’t all about destruction, but about replacing despots and fools with empowered believers. It was about building for the future.

      What Alexander, his fellow Macedonians, and their allies accomplished was, like Steve Jobs and Apple, by absorbing lessons learned not only from trying times but from being finely educated by the likes of Aristotle, and from applying some exceptional intelligence to the science and art of competition.

      That being said, the best revenge is revenge.

  2. Torpedo room – arm all four forward MK46 torpedoes.
    Give me a fan pattern with 5 degrees of separation running at
    2 fathoms. Fire – Mark 1….Mark 2….Mark 3….Mark 4.
    This ones for you Steve………Gods Speed!

  3. If you can’t employ an army of engineers to innovate and force your customers to buy 16 month old unchanged products then you might as well give up the fight and employ an army of lawyers to the battlefront.

    1. Well said, never thought you would agree about Google not being able to innovate. and you are correct, Google and it’s android buddies do need to get their army of lawyers together before they loose so much money they can’t afford to keep their doors open.

      1. Of course you realized that BLN is ironically referring to Apple, and you were responding sarcastically, as if he had been referring to the Android copyists.

        He’s still planting cherry bombs in the rest rooms at the high school. One of the cruel-but-cool guys, but I never could stand the ducktail.

  4. Some’a y’all are celebrating a little prematurely here. Google’s just bought several hundred patents from IBM’s huge store of same (to go along with the thousands it’s acquired with Motorola Mobility – which may be the biggest reason it bought the company, rather than because it’s decided it wants leap whole-hog into the “our device + our software” business space which Apple dominates.

    IBM may have overlapping patents which precede many of Apple’s more recent ones, and I believe it’s making a big play for Kodak’s patent portfolio – which goes way back to basic aspects of imaging and photography.

    And in patent overlap cases, “I was here first” speaks loudly and carries a very big stick.

    I actually hate this competition by patent (or look or feel) lawsuit vs. simple market competition by best product/marketing operation, but that aside, and adding the capriciousness of judges around the globe, Apple’s in no way assured of coming out on top in this arena in the long run.

    And to bring you up to speed and reinforce my point – guess which company is certifiably making actual money on Android?

    Hint: it’s not Google or “Google-ola” and maybe not Samsung – though I haven’t waded through their financials to see if that’s discernable and certainly not the pack of Android also rans, nor Amazon who’s losing money on each device – but – due to all this endless litigation, it’s Microsoft – who has nothing to do with Android other than suing it – by sitting back and collecting $3-5 in royalties on every Android device sold….

    1. The idea is naive that you can out-innovate an army of cheap clones that copy your innovations the moment it comes to market, without having to spend years of development.

      Or in the case of scumbag Schmidt, who had access to all iPhone development years before it was released.

      The kind of paradym shift that was introduced with iPhone cord around every maybe every other decade….

      So all these idiots that kept blabbering about Appe just needing to come up with more innovation, need to STFU!

      1. “So all these idiots that kept blabbering about Appe just needing to come up with more innovation, need to STFU!”

        Apple creates the Mac, gets ripped off by MS and loses most of the market to a copy of their work.

        Years later they barely escape bankruptcy and recreate the music business with the iPod and iTunes. People try to copy them but apple has a patent on the click wheel. And better design and software sync and integration wins the day.

        When the iPhone comes out, they completely recreate the entire smartphone and portable computing device industry. Google who has a spy on Apples board changes their Android from a blackberry rip off to a shameless clone of the iPhone, also blatantly ripping off Sun and Java in the process.

        Google has since tried unsuccessfully to rip off the iPad too, but has not had the same success, lacking an army of cellular salespeople pimping their product.

        I imagine if Apple hired an insider from Google and copied their search algorithms and was able to beat Google at their own game with their bread and butter product, violating patents. If Google sued them these same people would call for Google to stop resorting to lawsuits and out innovate Apple?

  5. Eric, The Apple Board Member, Mole Schmidt will now have to likely testify on this by my pure guess.

    Revenge is sweet after an ally stabs you when you turn around to leave the room.

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