Here’s a little litigation déjà vu. It seems Apple will be keeping the lawyers on for a little bit longer, adding a new round of patent litigation against Samsung to the unsurprising appeal of last year’s case. In the United States Apple has filed new patent infringement claims, this time the focus is on the the Galaxy Nexus, the newest of the Nexus series and the Ice Cream Sandwich flagship phone.
Filed in the District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday last week, Apple is seeking “a preliminary injunction regarding Samsung’s new Galaxy Nexus, which infringes multiple key Apple patents, is essential to prevent immediate and irreparable harm to Apple”. The patents in question are:
- United States Patent No 5,946,647 - dubbed the ‘data tapping’ patent, it protects a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data” which applies different responses by the software based on the type of data (for example launching the dialler app when you click on a phone number or composing a new email in your preferred email app when you click on an email address);
- United States Patent No 8,086,604 - which protects a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system” and mainly relates to Siri as a user interface that uses voice search for doing internet searches;
- U.S. Patent No. 8,046,721 - which protects a function that unlocks a device “by performing gestures on an unlock image” and underpins Apple’s as yet unreleased camera unlock feature; and
- U.S. Patent No. 8,074,172 on a “method, system, and graphical user interface for providing word recommendations” and relates to predictive text.
“Absent preliminary relief, by the time Apple prevails in this case – and Samsung’s infringement is so clear there can be no serious dispute that Apple will prevail – Samsung will have rushed the Galaxy Nexus, which misappropriates many patented features from the iPhone, to capture market share from Apple that Samsung will be able to retain long into the future.”
“Sales of the Galaxy Nexus during this litigation will cause irreparable harm to Apple… The smartphone market is at a critical juncture, as the overwhelming majority of consumers move to smartphones, and the consumers’ long-term preferences and purchases may be determined to a great extent by the operating system on their first smartphone.”
Apple demands US ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus Brid-Aine Parnell on The Register, 13 February 2012.
Apple requests U.S. preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus based on four high-power patents Florian Mueller on FOSS Patents, 11 February 2012.