updated 09:02 pm EDT, Sat June 9, 2012
Fate of Galaxy phone US launch in the balance
Embroiled in the latest developments in the US version of Samsung versus Apple/'s ongoing patent disputes, US Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh suggested on Thursday that a temporary restraining order (and consequent trial delay) may be the only way that Apple can get the Galaxy S III added to the infringing patent list, and thus, enjoined from US sales prior to its proposed launch in late June. On Friday, in response to the suggestion, Apple and Samsung filed a joint proposal for next week's schedule to discuss before the court why the S III should (or should not) be prevented from launching in the United States on time.
Samsung has until Tuesday, June 12 to demonstrate "whether it contends that the accused features [...] of the Galaxy S III are more than colorably different from the comparable features of the Galaxy Nexus." If Samsung fails in this bid, then the judge is likely to immediately approve Apple's motion to add the Galaxy S III to the list of infringing products. Samsung stated that it would "make its best efforts" to provide the source code related to the potentially-infringing features by Thursday. Patent case legal analyst Florian Mueller notes that, given that Samsung is in possession of the code, it's unclear why there would be any delays as potentially alluded to by Samsung's statement on the matter.
Within three days of Samsung's Thursday code presentation, the parties will reconvene to "determine what additional discovery and briefing regarding the Samsung Galaxy S III may be required, if any, and the amount, timing, and exact nature of any such discovery and briefing." Following this meeting, Apple will likely decide whether or not to file for a temporary restraining order on sales.
In the interest of expediency, Apple is considering filing against the S III with only two of its four contested patents, and saving the other two for future use, following further analysis of the phone. That patents Apple would contest would be limited to only Samsung's "unified search" (seen as infringing on Siri patents), and patents related to data-tapping in text messages and the browser (such as when a phone number appears on a text or web page and can be tapped to initiate a call). In court, the two are being referred to as the "quick search box" and "Android browser" respectively.
Apple is still waiting for jurisdictional control to be returned to Judge Koh's courtroom from the appeals court to obtain an injection on the Galaxy 10.1 tablet. Regardless of the outcome of the temporary restraining order, the judge is allowing previously dropped claims to be re-filed at a later date.