Blog Post

Apple gets another injunction, this time on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus

Samsung has been dealt another patent blow in a Northern California courtroom, and this time it involves a product that isn’t woefully out of date. Apple(s aapl) has been awarded a preliminary injunction against sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus — an important product for Google’s(s goog) Android strategy — in the U.S., according to a report.

Reuters was at the courtroom in San Jose, Calif., where Judge Lucy Koh once again slapped an injunction on a Samsung product running Android. However, this time, instead of an injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (which never sold that well when it was new on the market a year ago), the device in question is Galaxy Nexus, the flagship device for Google’s Android 4.0 software release. The Nexus was just given away to all attendees at Google I/O this week.

Apple will have to post a $95 million bond to enforce the injunction, but that amount of money is pocket change for the company. From Samsung’s standpoint, the news might not be quite as bad given that it just introduced the Samsung Galaxy S III to great fanfare, but from Google’s standpoint, the news isn’t very welcome. Google’s Nexus program is designed to showcase the company’s approach to user interface design, free from outside influences added to smartphones from handset makers and carriers, and if the injunction holds, Samsung won’t be able to sell those phones in the U.S.

And to top it all off, Bloomberg reported late Friday that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether or not Motorola — now part of Google — has been abusing so-called “standards essential patents” in its legal battles with Apple and Microsoft(s msft). Even coming off the high of Google I/O, these developments are not good for Google and Android.

36 Responses to “Apple gets another injunction, this time on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus”

  1. Brian

    This restores my faith in the justice system. How anyone could think that Android is not a total rip-off of iOS is mind-numbing. It’s even worse than Windows, which was previously the biggest rip-off in history. More like a heist.

    If it were not for Apple, we’d all still be using DOS/blackberry. This is the extent of imagination outside of Apple in the tech ‘industry’ (which is really just a bunch of losers waiting to copy Apple in every move, software and hardware.) I am serious about this.

    I used to be hugely into DOS and Windows. I had no idea of the depth and breadth of Mac back then. My boss, to get me to switch, bought me a Mac as a ‘present’. I refused to use it at first, never thought I would do ‘serious’ work with it. But the more I tried it, the more I realized what a sham Windows is. Just got iPhone 4 a couple of years ago, it’s my first cell phone (I avoided having one as long as I could really), but with a lot of experience using iPod touch, etc… I just don’t see how anyone would buy Android rip offs unless they are bamboozled by sales drones wanting their splifs (high commissions) on Android models, or, unless you have a totally irrational hatred of Apple. Then again, if your job is supporting Windows, then maybe it’s not so irrational since Apple is far larger than old softie. Remember the old days, just a few years ago, when MSFT was many times larger than Apple? Failing to innovate is not a good thing in technology. I guess Karma caught up to the clowns at MSFT.

    • Pedro

      You talk about how you refused to use a Mac at first because of misconceptions, and yet have you used an Android? If not, then you’re doing the same thing again.

  2. If RIMM, Microsoft, Nokia, Amazon, B&N and HP can all make smartphone and tablets without copying Apple, why the H*ll can’t Samsung?

  3. Tim Richardson

    Apple goot lucky with this “Siri” patent (well, to be fair, I’d say its law team outperformed Samsung’s). It’s fairly old (certainly predates iPhones, in fact i-anything). It’s amazing there is no prior art on it … and Google must be amazed and shocked to lose on a search patent. Well, it’s hasn’t lost, but an injunction is serious. This patent appears to be critical to Android, and it’s going to affect every Android device sooner or later, so the good news is that one way or another Google is going to need to solve this. But if this patent survives in this kind of use, then the patent system is really poor.

  4. Brian Topping

    It’s about time that Apple got paid for their innovation in the industry. Without them, it’s hard to imagine that we’d be anywhere close to where we are today with personal computing devices. Apple has made mistakes, their PowerShare project being prime on my list of missed opportunities, but it doesn’t give the rest of the industry the right to just appropriate protected ideas any more than Apple can from it’s competition — they must be licensed. And unless they are standards-essential, Apple has no more obligation to license them than any other company does. I don’t hear people complaining about Dyson not licensing their unique designs or allowing them to be stolen, why do people think that Apple should just accept this theft?

    These ideas were just waiting for someone to create, and Apple did. I’m a software developer that was once against patents, and Apple showed why they are important through patents that matter. Kudos!

    • Pedro

      Apple had and has an huge influence on the technology sector, but that doesn’t mean they should everyone for everything. Algorithms, circuits and casings should be patented, yes, but concepts? No. Or else even today there would be just one brand of car makers, the
      I admit that Samsung had it coming because it has no imagination and it copies everything from Apple (in one tablet it copied the iPad shape, even the exact place of the microfone), but leave Android alone, it was made by some company, then bought by Google which perfected it, modified by thousands of people around the world (mod roms), and is different from iOS in many things –UI isn’t everything.
      Each has it’s market.

  5. Patrick Joseph Gallagher

    @john (Sorry, won’t let me directly reply) Well, you go ahead and enjoy that. But Apple doesn’t own the mobile smartphone. Not at all. Look at some of the patent ‘injunctions’. Searching on a mobile device? That’s ridiculous. Google had the ability to search before any iPhone came out. Apple isn’t innovating. iOS 6 is actually copying more from Android! What if Google patented mobile maps? Then you would say than Google is an asshole. And that would be asshole-ish. Plus, as in your analogy of windshield wipers: the iPhone and the GNex are BARELY alike. Apple isn’t protecting it’s innovation. Only a moron would believe that: they just generate that opinion to make them look good. Fact is, they’re scared of Google. And they want to shut it down. Will they succeed? Maybe. Maybe not. I’ll never by an Apple product. This incident has red flagged their products to me permanently. But really, there is no point in arguing with any fanboy. Their opinions are unalterable, and it’s a waste of time. I only do it because I find it intellectually stimulating.

    So Apple can file lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit…but here at Android, we’re having a party. And all parties come to an end sometime. Your iOS will too, eventually. But arguing about this is wasting valuable party time. So if you don’t want to experience the fun times at Android, then do us a favor: please stop trying to ruin it for the rest of us. Alright, I’m not commenting on this blog anymore. I’ll find a better use for my time. Have a nice life.

    • Brian

      Apple owns the iPhone. You know that phone that everyone either wants or already has? Android is a total sham rip-off, and I think down deep, even you realize this.

      • Pedro

        “You know that phone that everyone either wants or already has?”
        since the Android marketshare is already at 50%, with 1 million devices being sold *everyday*, it seems the rest of the world doesn’t agree with you. Oh, but what does the rest of the world knows compared to a fanboy, right? I won’t deny that the iPhone was a game-changer and is very good and stylish, but that doesn’t make it the only choice, neither the best.

  6. someone really needs to put apple back in their place… the bottom rung clinging on to dear life calling bill gates for another bail out.

  7. Android is a bootleg OS. Google skirted the law at every turn to get Android where it is now, but it won’t get away with it. They built this empire on land owned by many other companies and they did it without any permission. The bulldozers and wrecking balls are on their way.

    • Yes, Android will be no more in just a few months, of course it will…. Android is open source and based on linux, as for patent violation, well Apple has it’s share too, so shove it. The bulldozers already passed through one place: your sense of perception.

      • webOS is open source too, how many devices are on store shelves? Linux can’t be sold without licensing patents either. Microsoft makes money off of every Linux device sold for example.

    • Patrick Joseph Gallagher

      Bootleg is hardly the word. Apple was just lucky to get in the OS market first. Android is based on entirely different principles than iOS. If some features are similar, then so be it. It isn’t Apple’s business to trademark the basic fabric of a mobile OS. And even if Google introduces what you think is a facsimile, they do it better. Take Siri. No, I am not arguing for S Voice, but Google Voice Search (the Jelly Bean version) They both have the same features, yet Google’s sounds a lot less robotic, and it does it faster. Android is in a period of growth right now. And if Apple want’s to send lawsuit after lawsuit, then I say go ahead. It’ll only make them look more desperate as they sue for the most trivial of things. It’ll generate a bad public opinion of Apple. In a sense, they’re digging their own grave.

      • Which product is better is irrelevant to ownership. If I invent the windshield wiper and patent it and you start selling a version that is marginally better that doesn’t make it legal. It doesn’t matter how things look either, all that matters is that Android devices increasingly won’t be allowed on store shelves. Like most other bootleg products Android is being banned from sale in the US.

        Android is in a period of growth is also irrelevant because the high rise is built on land that doesn’t belong to Google or it’s OEMs. Just because I sneak into your backyard and start building a huge structure doesn’t mean I get to keep it there cause I put a lot of work into it.

    • NeedName

      You must be VERY young if you believe that, especially considering where Mac OS came from (Xerox), OSX (Free BSD) and by extension iOS comes from it (a FREE open source OS), and who *invented* the cell phone (Motorola in 1973), and who invented the smartphone (IBM in 1992), and who invented the PDA (Psion in 1986 & palm popularized) — the iphone is a direct knock off of these previous *inventions* and looks very similar to a Palm PDA that only a brain dead moron would think it was truly *original.*

    • John B.

      There’s no doubt that everyone perceives this Apple vs the world differently, but, we have to look at what is happening in this industry. Apple sparked a revolution with the original iPhone. While the first couple years brought more advances from both sides of the two dominating OS platforms, it has come down to that Apple wants to stay on top. A position they wished for thirty years. They will do everything necessary to retain this goal. Even if it sells out their own consumer base and stymies innovation or leapfrogging which is coherent to technological advancements.

      Our generation respected their products but also understood that Apple was of a very tight vertical integration. Extremely proprietary and controlling every aspect of their users. Specialized accesories and products made very inexpensively yet commanded higher prices to boast high profits. Adding the least amount possible just to keep them relevant. Hense the small marketshare during this time. We knew better. Such a controlling company being allowed to grow as large as it is now, would have the adverse effects on competitive guidelines. If they control every aspect of their own users, how would this effect the entire tech population on a much larger marketshare?

      I think we are starting to see the results here. No one dare enter Apple’s territory unless their rules and regulations are funded financially by way of competiton elimination. In comical terms, we are to join the dark side one way or another or face death. Not everyone wants to be controlled under the regiment of Apple. That is why Samsung and others have a substantial customer base and growing. Apple is becoming desperate. The richest person in the world can become desperate if missing substance. Apple’s substance is to control. Rather than look at what put them on the brink of bankruptcy a short time ago, they will use their high paying consumer base to finance their same old practice. A practice that many will tire of just like we did.

      As long as their consumers stick by them, we all as consumers will suffer in the long run by losing choice and paying higher subsidies due to carriers having to offset Apple’s demands. This all trickles down to us. I want lower phone bills; not higher. I want another choice of handset maker; not Apple.

      I don’t mean to come off anti-Apple. I was once an Apple lover. However, while the taste of apple juice is flavorable and tastes extremely good, if you break it down, it really has no nutritional value.

      John B.

      • So let me get this right, you lose because other people are buying Apple products. Other people should be denied their choice so that you can benefit. Yeah that pretty much irrational hatred.

      • John B.


        I think you pretty much missed my point. Apple’s inert DNA is to control. They complain in regards to Google and Motorola about their lack of standard contribution to FRAND, yet, it refuses to license anything itself that might be considered standard in today’s computational operation. They want you and I to have no choice but to purchase Apple. I hope you’re following me here.

        Unlike Microsoft that licenses their products to competitiors, Apple doesn’t want financial restitution through competitior’s products. They just want the competitior exterminated. Anti-competitive. It’s always been that way for thirty years. Their way or the highway. While the rest of the world is is trying to standardize USB ports for all smartphones, Apple makes an announcement that they are changing their charger also but yet does not recognize the standard. Instead, it forces their consumers to purchase a proprietary charger which cost more for the consumer yet less for Apple. All to make a profit. If you like Apple and their business model, that is your choice. It’s not mine and I would like the choice to stay that way.

  8. Patrick Joseph Gallagher

    Quite shameful, really. Though Apple has made some great success, the lawsuits are really a blemish on their image. A pox on thee, Apple, a pox on thee.

  9. PXLated

    It might not cover the Galaxy S III at this very moment but according to Foss Patents, Apple will more than likely file against it shortly and because of this injunction win a quick injunction against it also.

    • Patrick Joseph Gallagher

      Again, they are digging their own grave. All of the lawsuits make Apple look desperate, and even some of their [sensible] fans are saying “What the hell, Apple? That’s stupid”.

      • Brian

        LOL, Apple is not stupid here, Samsung is. Why can’t they change the look of their rip-off just a little? Samsung has a history of ripping off those for whom they contract manufacture. I really doubt they ever had any original ideas at all. How hard would it have been for them to make their rip off (Geez, Google HANDED IT TO THEM since they have NO CLUE about software) look even SLIGHTLY different???