News by Dan Seifert on Wednesday July 04, 2012.
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Late last night, Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court in California upheld the preliminary ban on sales of the Google Galaxy Nexus that was decreed last week. Samsung, the maker of the phone, had filed an appeal of the ban, but Judge Koh determined that it was unlikely that Samsung would be able to beat Apple in the companies' upcoming trial and therefore upheld the ban.
In order for the ban to take effect, Apple had to post a $96 million bond, which it did last night. "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," noted Judge Koh in her ruling.
Google and Samsung quickly responded to the ruling, claiming that they have a software update in the works that will alter the universal search box on the Galaxy Nexus. The ban is based on the Galaxy Nexus' violation of Apple's patent on universal searching, and the supposed software update would change the search box to remove any local searching of the device. Where the search box used to be able to search the content of apps and other data stored locally on the device in addition to performing web searches, once the update is applied it will be limited to only web searches. The software update is expected to be rolling out to all Galaxy Nexus devices in the U.S. regardless of which carrier they are being used on.
Samsung released a statement on the court's ruling last night:
"We believe today's ruling will ultimately reduce the availability of superior products to consumers in the United States. Meanwhile, we are also working closely with Google to resolve this matter, as the patent in question concerns Google's unified search function."
Google has since removed the unlocked HSPA+ version of the Galaxy Nexus from its online web store, stating that it will be coming back next week. The LTE version of the phone is still currently available to purchase from Verizon Wireless and Sprint.
The trial between Samsung and Apple over the alleged patent infringement is due to begin this month.
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.