Galaxy Nexus yanked from Google Play store, ban-beating patch almost ready

By Lee Kaelin on July 4, 2012, 5:30 PM

Samsung has been forced to stop selling its Galaxy Nexus smartphone after Apple paid the bond to bring a court-ordered ban into effect and cover damages should the final judgement favor the South Korean phone maker. Subsequently, Google had to amend its listing for the handset on the Google Play store to display a "coming soon" notice.

Apple alleges that Samsung's Galaxy Nexus handset infringes four intellectual properties granted to it by the US Patent and Trademark Office. In brief, they are the use of a single search interface, the use of a sliding gesture to unlock, a text input interface that tries to anticipate which words the user wishes to type and the fourth, a way to manipulate structures such as telephone numbers or postal codes.

While the Galaxy Nexus isn't Samsung's best selling product, it has been an important handset. It was the first released running Google's latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS, as well as being the handset given to developers at its recent I/O conference in San Francisco. It had also been intended to be the first handset to receive the recently announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update.

The Next Web reports that the two firms behind the handset are working on a software update, which is now almost ready to roll out in the hopes of overcoming the sales ban after its appeal to stay the ban was refused.

The new patch will remove the local search functions from the homescreen-based quick search box, instead it will just offer web-based search results. Local search results will be completely disabled on the device, and the voice search options will be restricted in the same manner.

It's unclear if Samsung can just begin selling the devices once the patch has been updated. It's likely the court will be required to decide whether the software patch solves the claims by Apple of suspected infringement.

A spokesperson for Samsung also released a statement to The Next Web in response to the court's decision:

Samsung is disappointed with the court’s decision that denied our motion to stay. We believe today’s ruling will ultimately reduce the availability of superior products to consumers in the United States.

We will continue to pursue an appeal of the GALAXY Nexus preliminary injunction, which we filed on July 2 to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Meanwhile, we are also working closely with Google to resolve this matter, as the patent in question concerns Google’s unified search function.

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