updated 12:25 am EDT, Thu July 12, 2012
S III not directly named in suit, patch makes phone compliant
The Galaxy S III received a small security update yesterday, with little detail of what was changed from a security perspective. Samsung still hasn't reported what security content was changed, but a side effect of the patch renders the Google search bar on the phone incapable of searching for local content on the device, thus making it preemptively compliant with recent US court rulings finding the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1 as infringing on a "unified search" patent.
Google and Samsung are developing a patch for the Galaxy Nexus and presumably compiled this patch for the Galaxy S III to remove unified search on the Android-powered devices to avoid further infringement charges. As this patch does not affect voice search, which still searches local phone content, it is unclear if the court will view the patch as sufficient to clear the sales embargo.
The injunction against the Galaxy Nexus was issued ahead of the late-July court case against Samsung for its alleged infringement of Apple's patents in its implementation of Android and the hardware design. .Judge Koh previously ruled that Apple has "articulated a plausible theory of irreparable harm" from "long-term loss of market share" and "losses of downstream sales" as an effect of the infringement. The sales embargo has been temporarily stayed on the Galaxy Nexus, pending re-hearing by the appeals court after Apple files its opinion on the ban and why it should be kept in place.