Smartphone patent wars: Judge blasts US patent system as Google update removes Samsung Galaxy Nexus search feature

US Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner has again attacked the US patent system, as Google issued an update removing features from the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the hope of overcoming a patent-related injunction against the device.

Judge Posner, who recently dismissed a series of patent lawsuits between Apple and Motorola with prejudice, at the time describing the US patent system as being in “a state of chaos“, has again attacked the US patent system in an interview with Reuters.

“It’s a constant struggle for survival. As in any jungle, the animals will use all the means at their disposal, all their teeth and claws that are permitted by the ecosystem,” Posner said.

“It’s not clear that we really need patents in most industries. You just have this proliferation of patents [on parts of software]. It’s a problem.”

Posner’s comments come as Google issues a software update for Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphones which prevents users from being able to search through files stored on their own device, after Apple gained an injunction banning the smartphone from being sold in the US, on the grounds that the search feature allegedly infringes one of its patents.

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