Appeals court reverses Galaxy Nexus sales ban as a new Nexus phone looms

The Galaxy Nexus, a Samsung-made smartphone providing so-called stock Android experience (one free of carrier crapware and skinning) may soon be back on store shelves in the United States as the country’s appeals court warned that a “district court abused its discretion”.

Back in June, U.S. Judge Lucy Koh granted Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction. The appeals court now reversed Apple’s injunction warning that the iPhone maker did not prove people bought Samsung’s phone because of the infringing technology.

The appeals court has sent the case back to a lower California court for reconsideration…

Google pulled the Galaxy Nexus from the Google Play Store back in April. The appeals court suspended the sales ban at Samsung’s request two months later. Now, Reuters reports that a U.S. appeals court overturned a preliminary injunction on the sale of the Galaxy Nexus smartphone on Thursday.

Apple originally argued that the unified search feature, based on Apple’s 8086604 patent for a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system” was essential to sales of the Samsung device.

Apple failed to prove, the court said, that consumers purchased the Samsung product because of the infringing technology. The court considered a single patent – one which allows the smartphone to search multiple data storage locations at once. For example, the smartphone could search the device’s memory as well as the Internet with a single query.

According to court documents obtained by The Next Web, Samsung readily admitted to poor sales of the device, using the fact to defend itself by arguing that the Galaxy Nexus didn’t pose a threat to the iPhone.

The appeals court wrote in its official order that “it may very well be that the accused product would sell almost as well without incorporating the patented feature”.

What this means is that “even if the competitive injury that results from selling the accused device is substantial, the harm that flows from the alleged infringement (the only harm that should count) is not”.

Hence, a district court abused its discretion and the sales ban needs to be overturned.

Speaking of the Galaxy Nexus, mine is collecting dust.

The screen died on me having accidentally dropped the phone from knee-high. It didn’t shatter, just went blank though touch input still works.

I’m guessing the entire laminated display assembly needs to be replaced. To tell you the truth, I was taken aback realizing how sensitive this device is.

Back in summer, when I was blogging from the beach and using my Galaxy Nexus as a wireless hot spot for my MacBook Air, one day it just stopped connecting to 3G or even Edge.

It would only work on GPRS and a service technician later told me this was a common problem with all Galaxy Nexuses. Feeding 3G cellular data to my notebook via the Nexus all day, often in direct sunlight, took a toll on its motherboard.

Forget about the Galaxy Nexus, the LG Nexus is coming later this month.

I’m not trying to make a case against Samsung or Google here – I actually grew fond of my Nexus and am looking forward to having it repaired. It’s just an anecdotal evidence that Samsung, too, should tighten quality control at its own sweatshops in China.

By the way, Google’s next Nexus phone (pictured above) will be made by LG and introduced later this month, per Bloomberg.