“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.