This just isn't a good week for Samsung.
After a ruling earlier this week by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California preventing the sale of Samsung's 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab Android-based tablet here in the States, on Friday the judge also granted Apple's request for a pre-trial ban of the just-launched Galaxy Nexus phone in the United States as well.
"Apple has made a clear showing that, in the absence of a preliminary injunction, it is likely to lose substantial market share in the smartphone market and to lose substantial downstream sales of future smartphone purchases and tag-along products," Judge Koh said in Friday's ruling.
The order is expected to become effective once Apple posts a bond of more than $95 million USD. This will be used to protect Apple against Samsung should the injunction be found incorrect later on. Meanwhile, Samsung will likely seek to appeal Koh's ruling to a federal appeals court in Washington, DC which has exclusive jurisdiction over intellectual property (IP) disputes.
This isn't good news for Samsung or Google, as the latter company just handed the device out to developers days ago at Google I/O 2012. Sporting Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich," Google said during the conference that it would be one of the first devices to receive Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" along with the Nexus 7 tablet.
Apple originally requested an injunction against the device back in February, saying that it infringed on several Apple patents. The current ruling to ban the sale of Samsung's smartphone centers around U.S. Patent 8,086,604, which covers unified search functionality. Apple cited three additional violations in its original complaint.
Google began selling Samsung's Galaxy Nexus directly to consumers via Google Play back in April. Costing $349, it features a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED Contour Display, a 1.2 GHz dual-core SoC, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, a 5MP rear-facing camera, a 1.3MP front-facing camera NFC technology and more.
Apple has waged its patent war against the Android community and across the globe since 2010. The accomplishments made this week are two of many U.S.-based cases that could strengthen Apple's grip on Android-based manufacturers, forcing them into cross-licensing deals. Microsoft already demands Android-based licensing fees stemming from several patents the company claims Google's OS violates.
Earlier this week, Judge Koh halted the sales of Samsung's 10.1-inch tablet with the condition that Apple posts a $2.6 million bond. Samsung said there won't be a huge impact in revenue, as the affected tablet was released back in 2011 and the company just revealed its successor, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1), last month. That said, the ruling doesn't apply to the new model, and Samsung is now telling retailers that they can clear the older model out of their inventory.
As for the Galaxy Nexus phone, Judge Koh scheduled a hearing on Monday to consider whether to put the Galaxy Nexus injunction on hold pending appeal. She also indicated that she might rule on Sunday whether or to similarly put on hold the earlier injunction on the Galaxy Tab.
"Apple sought a preliminary injunction of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product's overall design," Samsung said in a statement earlier this week. "Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted."