US court refuses to stay injunction on Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone

The court had on Monday declined to stay a preliminary injunction on Galaxy Tab 10.1

A court in California denied Samsung on Tuesday a stay on a preliminary injunction against sales in the U.S. of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone running Android, a day after the same court refused to stay a similar injunction against the sale of Samsung's tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Samsung had filed a motion seeking to stay and suspend the preliminary injunction pending an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or, alternatively pending a decision by the Federal Circuit on stay pending appeal.

"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," Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division wrote in her 18-page order.

Samsung had argued that enjoining sales of the Galaxy Nexus will harm certain techie consumers who value the pure Android operating system offered in the Galaxy Nexus, and who will be unable to find any close substitute within the same price point as the Galaxy Nexus, according to the order.

The company said in a statement that it is disappointed as the court's ruling will restrict the choice of American consumers in the smartphone market. The company said it was currently working closely with Google to resolve the matter, as the patent in question concerns Google's unified search function. It added that it will continue to take all available measures, including legal action, to ensure that the Galaxy Nexus remains available to consumers.

Judge Koh issued an order on Friday enjoining Samsung and U.S. subsidiaries from importing and selling in the U.S. the "Galaxy Nexus smartphone and any product that is no more than colorably different from the specified product and infringes U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604."

The patent, assigned to Apple, relates to an universal interface for the retrieval of information in a computer system.

Apple's complaint asserts a total of eight patents and identifies seventeen accused products, but it moved for a preliminary injunction only against the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, and on the basis of four patents, including the '604. The Judge said that Apple had shown that irreparable harm will be attributable to Samsung's alleged infringement of the '604 patent, though it had not shown the same with respect to Samsung's alleged infringement of the other three patents.

As a condition of the preliminary injunction, the court ordered plaintiff Apple to post a bond of US$95.6 million to secure payment of any damages sustained by Samsung if it is later found to have been wrongfully enjoined. Apple said in a filing Tuesday that it had posted the bond. The court had ordered Apple not to post the bond before it ruled on Samsung's motion to stay.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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