Florian Mueller revealed today some additional information regarding Apple’s latest patent lawsuit against Samsung over auto-correct and screen unlock patents.
The big revelation is that Apple is targeting Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone and is seeking a preliminary injunction against the sale of Google’s flagship Android 4.0 device. Apple’s lawsuit parallels a complaint filed last year, but according to Mueller Apple’s new complaint differs in a few essential areas.
Apple made the error of asking for a sales injunction against Samsung last year after the initial complaint. This allowed Samsung to argue that Apple’s complaint lacked the urgency and necessity to get an injunction. This time around Apple asked for a preliminary injunction and specifically stated the costs and damages the company will suffer due to the availability of Samsung’s infringing products.
Also, Apple is using four patents and arguing their application related to specific, technical features instead of the ambiguous “software design related rights” they claimed last time. Apple is even using U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647
"System and Method for Performing an Action on a Structure in Computer-Generated Data" which they used to successfully win an injunction against HTC. Google decided to keep this infringed upon feature in Android 4.0 despite the courts HTC decision which Mueller argues is "is unfair vis-à-vis HTC (whose products are weaker because they have to respect the decision), snubs Apple, and shows disregard for intellectual property in general and the ITC in particular. This is a case of willful, extremely reckless infringement."
The remaining patents included in the suit are:
U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604
"Universal Interface for Retrieval of Information in a Computer System” which is related to Siri and unified search.
U.S. Patent No. 8,046,721
"Unlocking a Device by Performing Gestures on an Unlock Image" which is a unlock gesture patent awarded last year
U.S. Patent No. 8,074,172
"Method, System, and Graphical User Interface for Providing Word Recommendations,” which is a patent related to auto-correct and text entry.
Apple is targeting Google’s flagship Android 4.0 handset out of necessity. If Apple wins an injunction it will slow down the already snail-paced Android 4.0 rollout. Imagine if Samsung, Google, or another company associated with Android won an injunction against Apple’s products based specifically on an aspect iOS 5.0’s functionality only months after its release? Apple would be forced to stop selling all their phones and revert to an old OS or issue a fix.
Android handsets lack Apple’s cohesion so a ruling against the heart of Android 4.0 wont effect more than 1 percent of Androids installed user base, but it’ll further push pack the release of long-awaited handsets from other Android manufacturers.
Source: FOSS Patents
[via Apple Insider