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December 26, 2012

Apple Still Fighting for Galaxy Nexus Sales Ban Despite Court Refusal


The Apple-Samsung (News - Alert) battle is still in full swing, and Apple isn't taking no for an answer in its dealings with court officials. In fact, Apple brought in an argument just yesterday that not only should a United States appeals court reconsider its earlier stance allowing Samsung to continue selling the Galaxy Nexus, but that a larger panel of judges should be brought in to potentially overturn the earlier findings.

This particular issue goes back to October, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that Samsung could continue to sell the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, overturning the pretrial sales ban instituted by a lower court in California. Apple (News - Alert), naturally, didn't much care for this concept, and in turn requested what's called an "en banc review," which brings in a larger pool of judges to make a new consideration, possibly throwing out the appeals court's decision.

Apple's problem with the Galaxy Nexus seems to stem from just one patent, a patent that allows the Galaxy Nexus to search multiple storage locations simultaneously for requested information. Basically multitasking on a wide scale, the Galaxy Nexus was able to not only check its own internal storage for information, but at the same time, launch a web-based search as well. Apple said that, since the Galaxy Nexus is using Apple's patent and is competing with Apple, a sales ban was the only appropriate course of action. The court, meanwhile, disagreed, saying that people weren't buying the Galaxy Nexus because of its multitasking search capability, so a sales ban was inappropriate.

Getting a sales ban, reportedly, has become much more difficult in recent years as they often become used as leverage in patent fights. Given that Apple had already won one major victory in the United States with a $1.05 billion judgment against Samsung over the copying of features, Apple already had quite a bit of leverage as it was. Worse, Apple reportedly got rejected again, with U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejecting Apple's push for a sales ban on 26 different but mostly older-model Samsung devices, with a possibility toward banning newer ones as well. Apple, not surprisingly, plans to appeal.

It's clear that the patent war between Apple and Samsung will be going on for quite some time to come. Neither is interested in losing ground to the other, so every available method will be pulled out in a bid to stop the other from trying to make sales in any market where the other can be found. This particular patent war has already been going on for better than a year anyway, so suggesting a solution might be found or common ground might be established seems a bit futile. With Android clearly leading the way in terms of market share, and Apple likely feeling the pinch as the world smartphone market grows and Apple's market share doesn't accordingly, going after one of the biggest names in Android (News - Alert) could buy Apple some sorely-needed breathing room.

The question is, how long can Apple and Samsung keep duking it out in the court system before the matter is finally settled and the market has to play as it lays?



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