Ina Fried

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Federal Appeals Court Grants Temporary Reprieve on Galaxy Nexus Ban

A federal appeals court has temporarily put on hold a lower court’s order banning sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Abdel Ibrahim/The Tech Block

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Apple was likely to prove that the Galaxy Nexus infringed on four patents and issued an injunction banning U.S. sales of the device. Samsung appealed that ruling to the federal appeals court, but Koh said Tuesday she would not put the ban on hold while Samsung pursues its appeal.

Although the ban is temporarily on hold, Apple has until Thursday to submit papers to the appeals court arguing why the ban should continue while Samsung pursues its appeal. There’s no immediate timetable for when the court could rule on that.

Meanwhile, the appeals court declined to put a separate ban on hold, that one against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

Apple and Samsung representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Google had pulled the Galaxy Nexus from its online store, but said it planned to return the product to its virtual shelves as soon as next week via a software patch designed to work around Apple’s patented technology.

Though not Samsung’s biggest seller, the Galaxy Nexus is strategically important to Google as the lead device for Ice Cream Sandwich, the current version of Android. It is also among the first devices scheduled to get Jelly Bean, the next version of Android which Google has said should arrive in the middle of this month.

Google also gave developers at its recent I/O conference a Galaxy Nexus loaded with a test version of Jelly Bean. It is unclear whether Google may alter some of the features of Jelly Bean in order to avoid the Apple patent.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus