Apple has filed an injunction against the Android 4.0 flagship Samsung Galaxy Nexus in California, claiming the Nexus violates at least four of Apple’s recently-claimed patents. According to FOSS Patents, these include:
- The “data tapping” patent which resulted in an import ban of HTC devices
- A patent related to Siri and unified search
- The infamous (and highly criticized) slide-to-unlock patent Apple recently won
- A word completion patent which provides major speed improvements for touchscreen text entry
FOSS Patents speculates that Apple will easily win the first patent, as this is the patent Apple used to score a difficult-to-obtain victory against HTC in the ITC, where only 1 in 20 smartphone patent cases are deemed to be in violation. In fact, Google has willingly violated this patent, choosing to keep the infringing technology in Android 4.0. If Google is deemed guilty in this aspect, they will likely need to make a few changes in Android 4.0 if they’re going to continue to put Android 4.0 in smartphones. The other patents are a bit murkier, and we recommend you heading over to the FOSS Patents site to read more about them and their potential implications for Google’s future business.
Though Apple was denied a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus (and the Galaxy Tab 10.1N) in Germany, that case was based on a different set of patents. The current charges are based on patents earned after September 2011, and are certainly much more important as they relate to core features of Android 4.0 itself, such as the slide to unlock functionality in Google’s lockscreen, as well as the way Google is and plans to handle mobile search in the future.
We’ll likely learn more about this case in coming months; The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is expected to rule on this case sooner rather than later.