Can a Google patch save the Galaxy Nexus from its US ban?

Google just might help Samsung overturn a ban on its Galaxy Nexus phone, after a  US judge rejected a request by Samsung to lift a pre-trial injunction against sales of the device.

On Friday, US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, also granted Apple’s request to block sales of the smartphone, the Galaxy Nexus. Samsung had asked the court to stay the injunction pending resolution of an appeal. Apple had objected to the Galaxy Nexus, saying that it infringed on four of its patents.

According to Apple, the Nexus' "Quick Search Box" which is able to search multiple sources through a single interface is like Apple's Siri. Apple insists that this is patent infringement. The other three areas where Apple has accused Samsung of patent infringement are actionable linking, slide-to-unlock, and touch screen word suggestion.

Now it seems that Google will help Samsung fight the ban. According to TheNextWeb Google has revealed that is ready to roll out a software update that it hopes will overcome a possible US sales ban on the Galaxy Nexus.

According to the report, Once the patch is rolled out, devices that are updated will see the homescreen-based quick search option simplified so as to only show results from the Web, with local search options disabled entirely on the device. The voice search option will also be restricted to retrieving results from the Web.  

The restricted search option could thus ensure that Samsung could get the injunction reversed if the smartphone no longer uses the unified search platform, which seems to be the major cause for contention.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus. AFP

Meanwhile it seems that Google has ceased sale of the phone from Google Play in the US, reports the Verge. The Verge also states, the description of the phone now reads "Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ (soon with Android 4.1, Jelly Bean)," which suggests that maybe the company merely stopped selling devices without the new update.

This current fight seems to be over search options in the smartphone. With Jelly Bean, the Nexus will get Google Now, which is similar to Apple's Siri. Hopefully the new OS or the software patch will ensure that Samsung can avoid the ban.

As a condition of the Galaxy Nexus injunction, Apple was ordered to post a bond  of more than $95 million to secure payment of any damages sustained by Samsung should the injunction be deemed a wrongful decision later.

This is a significant victory for Apple as pre-trial injunctions are rarely granted.

With  inputs from Reuters

Published Date: Jul 05, 2012 09:10 am | Updated Date: Jul 05, 2012 09:18 am

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