Earlier this Summer, Apple was granted a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s flagship Android device – the Galaxy Nexus. Shortly thereafter, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit granted Samsung’s request for a stay.
Now as the two companies take to court this week to determine whether or not the stay will be lifted, both sides are pulling out their big guns as much is on the line.
Yesterday, Apple’s attorneys argued that the Galaxy Nexus was Samsung’s “beat Apple” strategy. Indeed, court documents released in the recently closed Apple/Samsung lawsuit (which doesn’t encompass the Galaxy Nexus) show that Samsung was uniquely preoccupied with taking on Apple at all costs.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s top dog attorney John Quinn argued that Apple’s iPhone, in contrast to the Galaxy Nexus, has a huge market share and that the Nexus therefore doesn’t pose any sort of threat to Apple.
A key issue in the arguments yesterday before the appeals court was whether Apple must prove it lost market share to the Galaxy Nexus to obtain a pre-trial ban on sales, and whether the patented feature drove sales of either product.
Apple reported that it sold $16.2 billion worth of iPhones in the third quarter ended June 30. By contrast, Quinn said, Samsung sold $250 million of the Galaxy Nexus device in the first two quarters it was on the market.
“This is a product that, at most, captured 0.5 percent of the market,” Quinn said. “Nothing in the record here would support a finding of irreparable harm” to Apple.
The patent both sides are arguing about, and the one at the root of the initially granted preliminary injunction, pertains to unified search. As a quick primer, unified search allows iPhone users, for example, to search for a particular item and have the phone scan multiple sources concurrently, from a user’s email to his/her iTunes Music library.
Samsung maintains that unified search isn’t a feature most Galaxy owners are even aware of and shouldn’t warrant a preliminary injunction. And Google, believe it or not, filed a brief with the Court siding with Samsung where it noted that the feature encompasses, at best, “a very minor aspect of the Galaxy Nexus phone’s overall functionality which was never shown to drive sales.”
Both Apple and Samsung appeared before a 3-judge panel yesterday but it remains to be seen when a final determination on the matter is issued.