Judge Rules Samsung Galaxy Nexus Infringes on Apple Patents, Bans Sale in U.S.

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A U.S. District Court Judge has issued a preliminary ruling that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus infringes on several patents held by Apple. As a result, the judge has banned the sale of this smartphone in the United States.

Samsung Galaxy NexusA trial to officially determine whether the Galaxy Nexus infringes on four of Apple’s patents isn’t scheduled until next month, but Lucy Koh says that she believes Apple will win its case, and has gone ahead and instituted the ban.

“Apple has clearly shown that it is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary injunctive relief,” said Koh.

She went on to order Apple to post a $96 million bond which will go to Samsung in case Koh turns out to be incorrect and Samsung actually wins the upcoming court battle. This money will be used to compensate the Korean phone manufacturer in that situation.

The ban on the sale of the Galaxy Nexus will go into effect as soon as the bond is posted. At this time, this device is still available from Verizon and Sprint, and also on the Google Play store.

Apple vs. Google

Although Samsung is at the center of this lawsuit, it is really a battle between Apple and Google — it’s really Google’s Android operating system that Apple is complaining about, not the hardware. Samsung has been in the middle.

And it is Android users who are loosing out. The Galaxy Nexus is the model Google recommends developers use, and its will be the first to get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean when it becomes available in July.

Apple considered adding the Samsung Galaxy S III to its lawsuit in hopes that it also would be banned in the U.S., but Judge Koh warned the company that doing so would push back any decision from her.

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