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Apple demands US ban on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus

Opens up new front in the patent wars

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Apple is seeking a US ban on Samsung's Galaxy Nexus, the flagship phone for the newest iteration of Google's Android smartphone OS, in the latest battle of the ongoing patent wars.

The fruity firm filed in California, saying that "a preliminary injunction regarding Samsung's new Galaxy Nexus, which infringes multiple key Apple patents, is essential to prevent immediate and irreparable harm to Apple".

"Absent preliminary relief, by the time Apple prevails in this case – and Samsung's infringement is so clear there can be no serious dispute that Apple will prevail – Samsung will have rushed the Galaxy Nexus, which misappropriates many patented features from the iPhone, to capture market share from Apple that Samsung will be able to retain long into the future," Apple claimed somewhat shrilly.

"Even worse ... the full harm to Apple cannot be calculated, making it impossible for Apple to be compensated by money damages."

Apple is fighting the Ice Cream Sandwich-loaded Nexus over four patents: predictive text; a data-tapper feature, which recognises data such as phone numbers and provides a link directly to the dialler, for example; a voice search feature that Apple believes is imitative of Siri; and the popular using-an-image-to-unlock feature.

The iPhone and iPad-maker is claiming that Samsung is using a "follower" strategy to steal market share from Apple, knowing that customers often stay with their first smartphone OS because it's a pain in the a** to switch. Apple asserts that the Korean firm doesn't mind having to fork out on these patent infringement cases because the damage to Apple's market share will already have be done.

The filing also complains about Samsung's advertising tactics, which have poked fun at the more hardcore fanbois among Apple's following.

"While Samsung sells products copying features that make the iPhone distinct, Samsung has simultaneously embarked on an advertising campaign designed to tarnish Apple and mock its consumers for considering Apple's products distinctive and, for that reason, valuable," the fruity firm said.

Apple has already lost an attempt to get previous Samsung Galaxy products banned in the US, when a ruling from the same California court went against the firm last December. The company is currently appealing that decision.

The case is yet another front in the globe-spanning patent wars between Apple and Android phone-makers including HTC and Motorola. But the fighting is particularly intense with Samsung, which overtook the fruity firm in the third quarter last year as the world's top smartphone seller. ®

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