When it was announced that Apple won a preliminary injunction against the year-old Galaxy Tab 10.1, I shrugged. The device, that was DOA on the launchpad, already had a DOA successor. The bond Apple posted to affect it represented less than 6,000 Tabs, which itself is a testament to how bright the device’s future is. I also didn’t think this victory represented any kind of trend. Looks like I was wrong.
Today my new favorite judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted a motion for a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus a.k.a. Google’s latest reference shartphone. Shit just got real.
The injunction order is interesting for several reasons. First, it’s against a Google reference device, which is supposed to be the embodiment of the pure Android experience. There’s no Sense or Blur overlays; this is the handset that Google wants to represent its Android brand. Reference devices haven’t historically been great sellers for OEMs, but it’s an indication that Apple is striking closer to heart of Android – and Google itself. Then there’s the silver bullet patent responsible for the injunction order itself. US patent number 8,086,604, granted in 2004, covers “Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system” and is the basis for the iOS’s Siri. The thing that makes it huge is that it covers aspects core to the functionality of Android. Take a moment to savor the bonus “suck it” irony factor of Google getting shit on by a patent for search.
The question remains whether or not Apple will use this Siri victory to try and go after the Galaxy S III, which would be absolutely devastating to Samsung and Android. It would also amplify the butthurt howling of freetards to a level that could be heard from space, which would be delicious. The problem with that, as already suggested by Koh earlier this month, is that filing for an injunction against the S III would likely delay Apple’s trial against Samsung scheduled for July 30. I say go for it. The S III is already available on T-Mobile (read: 25 people), but supply chain delays have resulted in release dates that have slipped to July 1 for Sprint and “sometime in July” for Verizon. AT&T hasn’t announced a release date. If Apple can successfully land an injunction against what people are calling one of the best Android devices currently available, it’ll be a shot heard ’round the world.