Samsung Galaxy Nexus sales blocked in US

Judge grants Apple major victory

A judge on Friday granted Apple's request for an injunction blocking US sales of Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphones made in collaboration with Google to challenge the iPhone.

The ruling by US District Court Judge Lucy Koh was the second victory for California-based Apple this week in a fierce and complex patent war with the South Korean consumer electronics giant.

On Tuesday, the same judge barred the sale of Samsung's new Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer, saying that Apple had presented "a strong case" for the injunction.

Both Galaxy devices are powered by Android operating software that Google makes available for free to gadget makers, and Nexus is the Mountain View, California-based technology company's own branded line.

In a lengthy written ruling granting an injunction to block Galaxy Nexus sales until the patent case is resolved, Koh wrote that "in sum, Apple has shown a likelihood of establishing both infringement and validity."

The statement indicated that the judge felt Apple had a strong case showing that the patents at issue are valid and that Samsung had misused the technology.

"Were disappointed with this decision, but we believe the correct result will be reached as more evidence comes to light," Google said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

Samsung said it was also disappointed with the ruling, while Apple stuck to its contention that it was rightfully defending its intellectual property.

Patented technology outlined in the case includes database mining capabilities used by Siri virtual assistant software that became a hit after being introduced on the iPhone 4S.

"Apple has shown that the '604 Patented feature is core to Siri's functionality," Koh wrote in her ruling.

"Accordingly, the court finds that Apple has adequately established the requisite causal nexus between Samsung's alleged infringement of the '604 Patent and Apple's risk of suffering irreparable harm."

The injunction won't go into effect until Apple posts a $95.6 million bond with the court in the event Samsung wins the patent case and should be compensated for losses suffered by blocked Galaxy Nexus sales.

Galaxy Nexus launched in the United States in April and Google gave the smartphones to developers at its annual conference in San Francisco this week as part of a "tool kit" to create applications for the Android mobile platform.

Smartphones powered by Android software command 50.8 percent of the US market, where slightly more than a quarter of mobile phones used are made by Samsung, according to figures released early this month by industry tracker IDC.

Apple gadgets made up 31.4 percent of the US smartphone market, IDC reported.

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