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Sprint: carriers suffer from Galaxy Nexus ban, too

updated 06:30 pm EDT, Wed July 11, 2012

Carrier files amicus brief in support of Samsung

Sprint has weighed in on the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung, claiming that carriers are adversely affected when products are banned due to patent litigation. A FOSS Patents report details Sprint's amicus filing, which makes note of the effort that both carriers and hardware manufacturers put into bringing devices to market and says sales bans hurt more than just those companies accused of infringement. In its briefing, Sprint warns that more carriers would be harmed should the sort of preliminary ban seen with the Galaxy Nexus become more commonplace.

Sprint claims that the companies involved in the Apple-Samsung dispute make no difference; it would take the same position were Apple and Samsung's positions reversed or if other companies were involved. The company's main complaint is that it and other carriers suffer collateral damage from this sort of product ban. Sprint notes that hundreds of people working for both carriers and manufacturers spend nine months to a year bringing a single device to market. An immediate preliminary injunction, Sprint argues, constitutes a substantial and irreparable harm for any carrier that has been working to roll out a device.

Google was not named in Apple's suit, but the search company's Android operating system powers the device at the center of this and several other Apple lawsuits. Also, Google developed the Galaxy Nexus in collaboration with Samsung, and a ban on the Nexus would bode ill for other Android devices.

Weighing in, Google called the patent at issue "a trivial patented aspect of a single application on the phone, with no evidence that that patented aspect influenced sales." The company concedes that the iPhone and Galaxy Nexus compete for the same customers, but claims "that does not mean the feature preferences of Galaxy Nexus buyers are the same as the feature preferences of iPhone buyers."

Verizon has also weighed in in the past on the Apple-Samsung case. Last year, following Apple's request for a preliminary ban on Samsung devices, Verizon filed an amicus brief asking that a Northern District of California court deny Apple's request. Verizon claimed that a ban on the Droid Charge and Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE would hinder the development and rollout of its LTE-based 4G network, hurt job growth, and undercut public policy goals with regard to modernized emergency response systems.

Sales bans of the sort seen with the Galaxy Nexus have recently caught the attention of the US Congress, which is holding hearings on the antitrust implications of the patent wars. The United Nations is also looking into ways to resolve patent conflicts without resorting to sale and import bans.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 10-09-99


    Sprint have clearly missed the points at issue in these disputes.
    The position that they have adopted is akin to a fence complaining about a clamp-down on house-breaking!
    Maybe the carriers should conduct due diligence on the phones before they decide to sell what might be a product using stolen technology!

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-28-08

    Apple is going to get totally screwed by the courts. I'm sure no more bans will be allowed for Android devices. Steve Jobs "going thermonuclear" is going to end up as "fluffy pillow fight".

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-04-04

    Agreed. Apple is simply trying to take advantage of the patents that they shouldn't have been given in the first place. Unified Search? Really? Didn't Google Desktop allow for a unified search years ago? According to a simple Google search, there are tons of unified search options on the web via programs. I don't see Apple suing all these people. So obviously, this isn't about intellectual property, but instead about finding any way to stifle the competition. I have used an iPhone for 3 years now, but the constant litigation from Apple has made me reconsider if I really want to support them any more. All of that money that is being paid to lawyers could have been used for innovation or simply given to charities.

  1. makemineamac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-07-08

    Your knowledge of history is sorely lacking. Big surprise.

    Even a bit of basic research would inform you that the reason for the ban is that unified search in this form was patented by Apple before Google Desktop was released months later back in 2004.

    If you have a Mac and you enjoy Spotlight, which was also announced in 2004, it was one of the features that came from this patent. Others, as usual, may try to 'ape' it, but Spotlight is the real thing and not a copy and they are entitled to prevent others from using their patented concepts.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-21-10

    Crocodile tears. At best. The carriers only care about two things: selling big-minute voice plans and selling expensive data plans. (Well, OK, maybe there's a third thing they care about: selling insanely expensive SMS-es.)

  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Greetings. I am unable to delete my posts, and apparently you moderators are on some kind of a strike.

    Therefore, I have removed the content of the original post by hand.

    I am asking for this post to be deleted, since I don't seem to have the option to do that myself.

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