An appeals court on Friday overturned a preliminary injunction which resulted in a Samsung Galaxy Nexus ban in the U.S. making the flagship “Pure Android” from Samsung and Google available again in the country.
On June 29, Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose granted Apple’s request for a Galaxy Nexus ban in the U.S. a day after she granted another preliminary injunction – also at the request of Apple – against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Apple argues that the Galaxy Nexus violates U.S. Patent 8,086,604 which is concerned with “unified search”. The patent was applied for by Apple in 2004 and is currently used with Siri, the voice-activated assistant of the iPhone 4S.
Unified search describes a certain method of providing search results to users after searching across sites on the Internet and contents of a device.
However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ordered a temporary stay on the Galaxy Nexus ban, according to Florian Meuller, an expert who follows the legal war between Apple and Samsung.
As a result of the lifting of the Galaxy Nexus ban, the device is now available again on the Google Play store. Samsung and its subsidiaries, as well as other retailers in the U.S., can now also start selling the Galaxy Nexus again.
The case has larger implications to the wide array of smartphones and tablets running on the Android mobile operating system pioneered by Google.
Being a “Pure Android” phone, the Galaxy Nexus runs on an unaltered Android OS version. As such, the feature contested by Apple is also found on other Android smartphones. This means that if Apple wins in this case, it could argue to ban other Android smartphones with the same patent infringement.
Google and Samsung were reported last week to be preparing an updated version of Android to bypass the Galaxy Nexus ban in the U.S., but as Meuller notes, “it will likely take time to build new devices that come with non-infringing operating software.”
Furthermore, deleting the feature on Android which Apple says violates its patent could mean that users will get less relevant search results degrading the user experience on the platform.
Meanwhile, Apple has until July 12 to appeal the temporary stay on the Galaxy Nexus ban which means that the appeals court could reinstate the ban after hearing from Apple’s camp.
Apple applied for the Galaxy Nexus ban in February of this year.