Apple has filed a motion for preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus in the U.S., for infringing on four patents held by the company, reports Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. This move is an incredibly aggressive one that uses some very strong patents that have already been proven to have some success.
At this point, there is no real way to take this besides a strike as close to Google as Apple can get without directly pursuing the company. The Galaxy Nexus is a flagship device that runs a stock version of Android 4.0, with no Samsung ‘improvements’. That means that these patents, all software, are really being directed at Android as much as they are at the phone.
The motion, which was filed Thursday, names four patents, one of which has already had some success in use against Android devices and three others which appear to be very dangerous to Google’s business as well.
The four patents are a ‘data tapping’ (a term coined by Mueller) patent, a patent related to Siri’s search functionality, a slide-to-unlock patent and a patent on the way that complete words are automatically recommended when typing them into iOS.
These patents are all relatively new filings, which is likely why some of them have not seen legal action before. One of them, however — the ‘data tapping’ patent — has seen some success against Android devices in the past, having been used successfully to win a ban request Apple filed with the ITC against the import of HTC devices, which begins in April of this year.
Apple has been on an aggressive tear lately in the U.S., having filed suit against Motorola Mobility stateside just yesterday in order to head off arguments by Motorola against Apple in Germany. In that argument, Apple decries Motorola for its abuse of patent licensing on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, something that Apple has been working with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute on establishing better ground rules for.
This case is significant among the numerous motions filed lately between Apple and various Android makers in that it uses very strong patents and establishes an aggressive timeline for a ruling, something that should come within months.
It’s also a case that has Apple directly attacking a stock version of Android that is being shipped on a ‘flagship’ Google device. This has the potential to be one of the most interesting bits of legal wrangling between Samsung, Apple — and by proxy, Google — yet.