Samsung Galaxy Nexus returns to Google Play Store

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A second round of appeals has seen the Samsung Galaxy Nexus US sales ban temporarily lifted after Apple posted the required $95.6 million bond

 

Following a second round of appeals that saw Samsung have the Galaxy Nexus US sales ban lifted just days after Apple posted the $95.6 million (£61.2m) bond required to bring the ban into force, the Galaxy Nexus has gone back on sale through the Google Play Store.

Despite an original round of appeals being thrown out by a US judge, recent appeals against the Samsung Galaxy Nexus US sales ban saw a US Court of Appeals find in favour of the Korean company over the weekend, reinstating the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich launching Nexus handset.

The latest ruling in the tumultuous court case came just days after Apple had posted the court mandated $95.6 million (£61.2m) bond to bring the Samsung Galaxy Nexus US sales ban into force, a move that itself followed just days after Samsung’s appeal against the ban was thrown out.

With the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich launching Galaxy Nexus having been banned from sale in the States, Google was recently forced to remove the high-end handset from its online retail outlet whilst Samsung has vowed to continue to appeal the ban.

"We will continue to pursue an appeal of the Galaxy Nexus preliminary injunction, which we filed on July 2 to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit," an official Samsung spokesperson said. "Meanwhile, we are also working closely with Google to resolve this matter, as the patent in question concerns Google's unified search function."

Earlier this week, the South Korean company was told by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, that she would not be lifting the sales ban imposed on the company’s Google branded smartphone in the US last week.

The injunction was imposed following a legal complaint brought forward by Apple, accusing the firm of copying its popular iPhone and iPad devices.

With the ban coming into effect on Apple's posting of the $96 million (£61.2m) bond, Judge Lucy Koh ruled that due to Samsung's large number of alternative handset options available, the Korean company is unlikely to be hit too heavily by the Galaxy Nexus sales ban.

“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,” the US judge said.

The news comes just days after Apple was awarded a US sales ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, another case in which Samsung has seen its appeal thrown out. Despite losing a spate of legal disputes with Apple, Samsung has vowed to appeal the decisions, stating Apple can’t prove any potential patent infringements are damaging its market share.

It is expected that Apple will appeal the overturn to the sales ban with the Galaxy Nexus likely to once again be barred from sale and removed from the Google Play Store in the coming days.

A legal battering

Samsung has appealed the ruling on seven grounds, attempting to rubbish claims its soon to be Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-filled handset unlawfully infringed on Apple patent no. 8,086,604, an intellectual property right that covers a device’s ability to carry out multiple source searches through a single interface.

The original ruling, which came after months of legal back-and-forths, was made on the fifth birthday of the original Apple iPhone by US Judge Lucy Koh, with Apple claiming it will push to have the ban rolled out across a further 24 Samsung handsets, including the recently-released Samsung Galaxy S3.

"Although Samsung will necessarily be harmed by being forced to withdraw its product from the market before the merits can be determined after a full trial, the harm faced by Apple absent an injunction is greater,” Judge Koh said in her ruling.

"Apple's interest in enforcing its patent rights is particularly strong because it has presented a strong case on the merits."

Hitting out at the sales ban, Samsung last week declared it was “disappointed” with the court’s decision stating the injunction will “restrict U.S. consumer choice in the smartphone market.”

An official spokesperson for the South Korean manufacturer added: "We will take all available measures, including legal action, to ensure the Galaxy Nexus remains available to consumers."

Are the never-ending patent disputes harming the smartphone market and impending consumer choice and experience? Let us know your thoughts on the matter via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.

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