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Samsung disables search function to avoid patent dispute



/ 4 years ago

In an attempt to avoid a long and possibly expensive legal dispute with Apple over search function patents, Samsung has disabled the search function on its Galaxy S3 smartphone.

The update which disabled the search function was delivered “over-the-air” to UK and American Galaxy S3 owners. Samsung did not alert its customers of the change, so expect a few angry complaints from users that didn’t realise the search function was going to be axed at such short and non-existent notice.

Samsung has taken this precautionary measure in the run up to the August the 20th court case scheduled with Apple in the USA. Even though the court case doesn’t apply to the GT-i9300 S3 model, Samsung still put into place the measures as it seems likely Apple would launch another court case for that particular model should they emerge victorious in this case. The Galaxy Nexus suffered a short sales ban in the US due to another case brought by Apple over the same patent.

The move is a wise one from Samsung, it allows them to avoid paying up to the $2.5 billion demanded from Apple in legal bills should Apple win the case. The Apple patent in question covers a search patent that collects and sorts results from across the iPhone for use by the Siri personal assistant app.

“Samsung may be doing this as a precautionary measure to prevent it having to pay damages on devices sold outside the US in case Apple prevails in the States and then pursues a similar suit elsewhere,” said Simon Clark, head of intellectual property at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner. “Generally speaking a multinational company like Apple will have patent protection in all its key countries, and the wording will be very similar in each area. Although patent law can vary across territories it’s quite likely that a ruling in one country will lead to similar decisions in others.”

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