Last week a US appeals court ruled that Samsung can continue to sell the Galaxy Nexus while the appeal against a ban imposed in June works its way through the courts.
The ban on the Galaxy Nexus, the first US phone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, was requested by Apple in February and was imposed in June when Judge Lucy Koh ruled that it was likely to infringe the patents cited by Apple.
However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit twice delayed the ban, in July and again in August, and on October 11th it ruled that Judge Koh's court had "abused its discretion".
In sending the case back to the lower court, the appeals court cited several areas where errors had been made. One point was that Apple cited Quick Search as an infringement but the appeals court noted:
"the release of the allegedly infringing version of the Android platform predates the release of the Galaxy Nexus."
noting that Google is not a defendant in the case.
Another concerned Apple's claim relating to the "unified search feature" in Siri on the iPhone which Apple has patented. The appeals court ruled Apple must show that consumers buy the Galaxy Nexus because it is equipped with the apparatus protected by the patent, and not because it can search in general" or that it has unified search. The higher court said the Judge Koh's District Court had not determined Apple had proved this was a reason for purchasing the Nexus.
Judge Koh also presided over the jury case in August
where Samsung was found to have infringed a number of Apple design and utility patents. This verdict, which at the time seemed to us to be less than fair, will be subject of an appeal in the coming months. The Android community has to hope that the appeals court takes a similar stance then.