Judge Denies Samsung's Request to Lift Galaxy Nexus Sales Ban

Paul Lilly

Samsung is having a crummy week. After losing a court battle in which Apple was successfully able to convince an appeals court to ban sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the U.S., Samsung learned a day later that it would also have to pull its Galaxy Nexus smartphone from store shelves. Adding insult to injury, Samsung has just been denied a preliminary injunction against sales of said smartphones.

According to The Verge , Apple has already posted the necessary $96 million bond, so the ban on Galaxy Nexus devices is now in full effect. Google has halted orders for Galaxy Nexus devices in its Google Play store, which has been downgraded to "coming soon" after recently dropping in price to $349.

"Although some consumers may be disappointed that they cannot purchase the Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy Nexus, as Samsung itself has repeatedly insisted, is not Samsung's only smartphone product on the market," Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, wrote in her order.

The point of contention is a universal search patent -- U.S. patent number 8,086,604 -- held by Apple which relates to heuristic algorithms initiated by the phone's "Quick Search" feature. Samsung argues that Apple hasn't proven that Galaxy Nexus customers would have purchased an iPhone, or any other phone, if it weren't for the Quick Search feature, but Koh said the Federal Circuit "has not required proof of specific lost customers."

In place of such proof, Koh looked at market share trends, noting that "Apple’s U.S. market share fell by several percentage points in the first quarter of 2012 – i.e., the three months after the Galaxy Nexus was released – while Samsung’s U.S. market share grew by roughly the same percentage points."

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