Apple has filed another U.S. patent lawsuit against Samsung Electronics and is seeking a preliminary injunction asking a federal judge to halt sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone while the case makes its way through the court.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, with a redacted copy of the case made publicly available Friday night. The lawsuit involves four Apple patents for technology that allows users to touch a phone number on a Web page to dial the number, word placement, Siri voice recognition and unified search, and the ability to unlock a smartphone by sliding an image from one location to another.
“Sales of the Galaxy Nexus during this litigation will cause irreparable harm to Apple,” the company said in the lawsuit. “The smartphone market is at a critical juncture, as the overwhelming majority of consumers move to smartphones, and the consumers’ long-term preferences and purchases may be determined to a great extent by the operating system on their first smartphone.” The importance of that initial purchase “is precisely why Samsung copies Apple’s products and incorporates Apple’s patented features, i.e., in order to lure crucial first-time purchasers away from Apple.”
Samsung’s decision to sell the Galaxy Nexus in the U.S. “is all the more egregious considering that Samsung did so in the face of this Court’s prior determination that Samsung’s earlier devices likely infringe certain Apple patents and that sales of such devices would likely cause Apple ‘to lose market share to Samsung’ that ‘could support a finding of irreparable harm’,” the latest lawsuit says.
Google and Samsung in October of last year unveiled the Galaxy Nexus, which runs Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of the Android operating system. The Apple lawsuit specifically targets Ice Cream Sandwich “with its interactive features” in the lawsuit, contending that Galaxy Nexus sales will mean that “Apple loses not only market share in the smartphone market, but also an untold number of sales in the broader mobile device market.”
Besides losing potential iPhone customers to the Galaxy Nexus, Apple will also suffer “incalculable” lost sales for iMacs, Macbooks and Apple TVs, the company contends. Further, Apple will be deprived of revenue it would have made through the iTunes store for both digital media and apps sales.