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.

User Comments: 10

Got something to say? Post a comment
gamoniac said:

Who in the patent office approved the "slide to unlock" patent request? That guy needs to be fired. It seems like every freaking thing or thought is a patented feature. My goodness! The whole patent practice has stifled innovation (the very thing it is supposed to protect) beyond its original intent. What would have happened (or not happened) in the last hundred years if the followings have been patented:

- Keyboard

- headphone and mic

- The square shape of TV and monitor

- The use of 4 wheels on vehicle

- motion picture

- vacuum sealing of food

- refrigeration

- iPhone (oh, sorry, scrap it -- this one has a million patents on it)

The list goes on. My point is, ideas and concepts should not and cannot be patented. It is the unique implementation of a specific product that can be protected. This whole thing about Apple suing Samsung and Google for "sliding to unlock" and the phone's rounded corner look like iPhone has got to stop. Of course, Apple is not the only one to blame in these patent trolling world.

Is it too much to ask for a little bit of common sense?

Guest said:

Makes me want to smash my wife's iPhone and iPad2 just to go get new Android devices.. I am lost as an Apple customer forever, you sicken me.

Guest said:

The only thing that will stop Apple behaving like this is a customer back-lash. They need to be hurt in their hip-pocket before they will modify their behaviour.

The other thing you can do is lobby your elected representatives, no matter where you live around the world.



Arris Arris said:


In my opinion the "slide to unlock" is just a digital version of a toilet cubicle lock. Toilet cubicle manufacturers should sue Apple.

Coodu Coodu said:

I must admit this is unbelievably retarded, really makes me want to ditch my iPhone and buy a Samsung or a Windows phone. Can't believe this is even possible in today's world. Yet again the customer loses out the most...

dcnc123 dcnc123 said:

Shame on you apple... Your just afraid of google nexus hahaha I know android will dominate the mobile market soon.....

Divvet said:

You say soon, they already have.

Guest said:

Samsung continues to acquire market share by slicing into apple's...with a hammer! :P

Guest said:

And Apple keep doing what other corporations on the net do when they fail, they turn into a company of lawyers and sue everyone out of spite or because it is obviously profitable.

TJGeezer said:


In my opinion the "slide to unlock" is just a digital version of a toilet cubicle lock. Toilet cubicle manufacturers should sue Apple.

LOL - Great comment! That'd be a fun one to watch. I saw a barn in Amish country with a big wooden bar across the front that they'd slide to unlock the door. The toilet door latch maker could cite that as prior art.

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