FOSS Patents reports that Apple has filed a motion for preliminary injunction in the U.S. to ban sales of Samsung Galaxy Nexus for infringing four patents last week.
Apple is suing Samsung for the following four patents:
- the “data tapping” patent based on which the ITC ordered an import ban against HTC
- a patent related to Siri and unified search, which must be of huge concern to Google with a view to its core business
- a new slide-to-unlock patent that even had the head of the Taiwanese government profoundly worried
- a word completion patent that provides major speed improvements for touchscreen text entry
FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller terms these four patents as the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”.
Since all the four patents are software patents, it looks like Apple is going after Google’s Android indirectly. Samsung Galaxy Nexus is also the first flagship device running the stock version of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).
It will be interesting to see how Samsung and by proxy Google responds to these patent infringement claims. According to Mueller, Google has the following options:
Theoretically, Google could remove the functionality protected by any of these patents in order to keep the product on sale, but if it changes the program code of a lead device, this would make it particularly clear to everyone else in the market that there’s an infringement issue.