If the Apple patent wars were made into movies, it would take more sequels and prequels than Star Wars to tell the epic saga.
Apple made a motion to the United States District Court in California this week to clarify its desire for a patent block on the Samsung Galaxy S III, a flagship Android 4.0 smartphone currently scheduled to ship to millions of consumers across five U.S. carriers this summer.
According to the plaintiff’s documents, the Galaxy S III infringes on two Apple patents: one related to Siri and unified search and another on data-tapping, or the ability to select content and choose what app activates the data selected–for instance, choosing either the phone or text app when you tap a phone number in an email.
Apple is certainly the attacker in this fight, but a recent courtroom skirmish with HTC reveals that the Cupertino company’s patent claims hold merit. Earlier this month, Apple lawyers successfully delayed U.S. delivery of the HTC EVO 4G LTE for Sprint and the HTC One X for AT&T by crying foul on the same data-tapping patent.
Luckily, HTC developed a speedy work-around for the issue in question. Rather than giving users the option of selecting an app once data like an email or phone number is selected, the U.S. version of the operating system simply launches one particular application. If users want, they can change the application in Android’s Settings menu.
The ease and brevity of that solution is good for Samsung–and the millions who have pre-ordered the Galaxy S III. Samsung is on tap to ship more than 9 million $199 Galaxy S III units (a fact Apple mentions in its motion as a threat to the company’s success). We’re sure Samsung wants to do whatever it can to gets the S III into the hands of U.S. consumers–and stay on top in the smartphone wars. Still, the saga continues. We’ll report back with more updates as they happen.