It looks like there's finally been a new development in the Oracle vs. Google fight. For those who may be out of the loop, Oracle (who owns Sun and the Java programming language) have had patent infringement and copyright lawsuits boiling against Google for quite some time now. The patent claims are essentially related to Google's use of Java in the Android platform. Oracle claims that Android includes code which violates patents gained through the acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
Uh-oh. Sounds like Samsung's lawyers heard about Samsung Mobile President Shin Jong-kyun's little statement that the Galaxy Nexus was designed such that no "known" Apple patents were used or infringed on by the phone. This was probably, to be frank, a very stupid thing to say. Aside from basically challenging Apple to take a closer look at the Galaxy Nexus, there's also the fact that, if Jong-kyun's statement was actually correct and Samsung did design the Galaxy Nexus to avoid Apple patents, that Apple's lawyers would love to quote it at various patent infringement trials around the world.
This could be introduced to a jury as evidence that Samsung had reason to believe, at the point the Galaxy Nexus was designed, that their other products could be infringing on Apple patents.
Samsung just announced in a blog post today, that they have filed preliminary injunctions in the Tokyo District Court and in the New South Wales Registry to ban the sale of Apple's iPhone 4S in Japan and Australia, respectively. Additionally, in Japan, Samsung have also requested an injunction to bar the sale of the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.
According to Samsung, the injunction request in Australia is premised on Apple infringing various patents relating to wireless telecommunications standards, specifically Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA).
When Verizon and T-Mobile filed amicus curiae briefs in favor of Samsung in the company's ongoing patent litigation against Apple in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California, we cheered inside a little. It's always nice to see Android and its handset partners have friends in high places.
However, the question of how the court would respond to these briefs remained - as the decision is an entirely discretionary one.