London: South Korean mobile maker Samsung has disabled an advanced search function in its flagship Galaxy S3 smartphone, following a patent dispute with Apple.
The software once installed in the phones disables them from searching contacts, apps and other on-device materials, using the software developed by Google.
According to The BBC, users were not informed that the update would disable the service, and this was reported in the Unites States also.
Apple claimed that the innovation infringes on its patent to a single search interface, which it uses in its iPhone’s Siri app to collate results from a range of sources.
The firm has also managed to enforce a brief sales ban on another Samsung handset, the Galaxy Nexus, in the U.S. because of the patent, a dispute that will be considered in a Washington-based court on 20 August.
“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,” Simon Clark, head of intellectual property at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner was reported, as saying.
According to the report, in the law suit filed by Apple, the firm is seeking 2.5 billion dollars in lost profits and royalty fees but is offering a fraction of that amount, half a cent in damages for each handset it has sold that uses its rival's technologies, to settle Samsung's counter-suit.
However, Samsung responded with its own filing, alleging that Apple was trying "to stifle legitimate competition and limit consumer choice to maintain its historically exorbitant profits".
The case will be heard in a US court on Monday where a jury would settle the patent infringement suits filed by both companies against the other.
First Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 11:34