Justice may be sweet, but when it comes to patents, it's not usually swift. In the case of Apple's multiple, far-reaching patent disputes with Samsung, it took them a few weeks to get an injunction on the Galaxy Nexus based on the controversial results of the billion-dollar patent infringement suit. After Samsung took its case to the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals, the higher judiciary power has sided with the Korean manufacturer. The judge in the case accepted their claims that the relatively low sales numbers of the Galaxy Nexus didn't pose a threat to Apple's business, and that sales of the device couldn't be directly connected to the offending patent feature (universal search).


The judge went on to say that the Galaxy Nexus had no feature analogous to Apple's Siri, and that the lower court had "abused its discretion" in granting a wide sales injunction. The original ban was handed down in late June, and Google stopped selling the unlocked version of the phone on the Google Play Store a few days later. It's still not clear which retailers, if any, stopped selling the Verizon and Sprint versions of the phone. On July 6th, a week after the original injunction was put in place, the appeals court put a temporary lift on the ban based on Samsung's evidence and Apple's lack of response. This reversal has now become permanent.

The patent wars aren't going away any time soon - Samsung recently added the iPhone 5 to its latest patent-based suit against Apple - but it seems that sanity has prevailed in at least one case. While there's certainly an argument to be made that Samsung liberally lifted elements from the iPhone for its early Galaxy devices, the Galaxy Nexus bears no resemblance to the iPhone in software or hardware, and Apple's US injunction on the flagship Android device was widely considered unnecessarily punitive. Of course, with one or more new Nexus devices on the horizon, it won't be long until a whole new range of lawsuits is volleyed back and forth across the mobile world.

Reuters via The Verge

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • user311

    We should save the tax payers money and fire iKoh and replace her with a Great Dane with a wig with 2 dog bowls in front of it, one red for guilty and one green for not guilty and then let whatever the verdict is go to appeals

    • Ian Santopietro

      Quite frankly, I blamed the Jury Foreman on that one more than Koh. She just honestly didn't want to be there.

      • PhilNelwyn

        The injunction has nothing to do with the jury, it's the court's decision.

        • Ian Santopietro

          He was referring to the patent case from before, rather than this injunction. That was decided by a jury.

          • PhilNelwyn

            Please, could you tell me what part of "Appeals court to Lucy; 'Hey iKoh, you suck, you're dumb and you abuse the system'" is referring to "the patent case from before?"

          • Ian Santopietro

            Judge Koh was the judge on the patent infringement case that Samsung lost. The one where Apple one 1.whatever billion dollars.

          • PhilNelwyn

            Ok, I understand now, apparently you don't know that Judge Koh is the one who granted this injunction.
            He was not referring to the trial. ;)

          • Ian Santopietro

            Erm, Judge Koh didn't grant the injuction. The trial she presided over was all about monetary damages.

          • PhilNelwyn

            I told you that she did, and you don't check before replying... are you that lazy? :)
            There you go:

            (And please read the hole article, not just the title.)

            Like I said, Judge Koh granted the injunction and the guy wasn't referring to the trial, you were off topic but it's no big deal, just don't dwell on it.

  • Ron Lamb

    Well I applaud the victory. I would really like to see more verdicts coming back saying things like "Your Patents are a joke and totally fail the obvious test". Verdict reversed and Patents cancelled. Have a nice day and stop the insanity.

  • Kindroid

    I would say this is definitely a major bitch slap for Koh. The language in the appeals decision was pretty strong. And it gave a 1st year law school lesson on patent infringement to a sitting judge. It also has the effect of validating the thinking Judge Posner used in his recent decision in the Apple vs Motorola case. Hopefully, a few more decisions like this will give the Patent Office the backbone to start denying some of these frivolous patents. The patent applicant had to spend money up front to perfect their frivolous patents...there would be far fewer of them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

      It obviously shows her inexperience. Hopefully y she learns from having two injunctions thrown back at her.

      • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

        You would think people learned their lessons... *sigh*


      people do spend a lot of money filing patents. It costs thousands to 10s of thousands to file a patent. For a corporation thats not a lot but for the average person trying to patent an idea its hard to make that happen. I am currently trying to see if i can patent an idea for a device and it'll cost me well over 10 grand to get it done right if it is patentable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

    We should be able to see these things live... it would make a great TV Show. I'd probably even pay to watch it.

    • http://www.Mikereviews.co.uk/ Mike Brown

      i'm throwing my money at the screen, but nothing is happening!

  • mesmorino

    The only people who are really winning in this entire saga are the law students. Even the lawyers have bills to pay, but the students? Not only are they getting free case studies, they're getting a first class walkthrough on how to manipulate dumb companies, the system, judges, juries and each other. Talk about a free education.

    I suppose engineers are also getting a crash course in ambiguity