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Galaxy Nexus designed to bypass Apple patents: Samsung mobile chief

All Headlines 16:40 October 19, 2011

By Lee Youkyung

HONG KONG, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- The Galaxy Nexus smartphone, the first handset built using a new version of the Android system called "ice cream sandwich," is designed to bypass potential legal attacks from Apple Inc., the mobile chief of Samsung Electronics Co. said.

The remarks from Shin Jong-kyun, Samsung's mobile president, came as the Korean firm unveiled the result of its first major collaboration with Google Inc., and after suffering a series of setbacks in recent legal battles with Apple.

"Now we will avoid everything we can and take patents very seriously," Shin told reporters Tuesday on the eve of the Galaxy Nexus launch. His comments were embargoed until Wednesday.

Shin and Andy Rubin, who oversees Google's Android business, unveiled the Galaxy Nexus smartphone Wednesday, in an effort to secure a bigger chunk of the lucrative smartphone market and halt the advance of their rival Apple.

Apple secured temporary sales bans on Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablet computer in Germany and Australia on the argument that it copied the iPad. The injunctions will likely force the Korean firm to miss out on the key holiday sales season in both countries.

Patents are very complicated and can be difficult to identify, Shin said, but Samsung tried to ensure that no known patent by Apple is included in the new Android smartphone.

Despite such efforts, he could not say with certainty that the Galaxy Nexus, dubbed by media as Google and Samsung's answer to the iPhone 4S, would be entirely safe from Apple's legal offense.

"We will see if (the Galaxy Nexus) will be 100 percent free," from Apple lawsuits, he added.

Shin said that the past six months of lawsuits in which Samsung and Apple have filed numerous suits and countersuits was "just the start" of a long patent war, from which he sees no end in sight.

The bitter legal tussle started in April when Apple accused Samsung of copying its iPad and iPhone in Samsung's Galaxy series of mobile devices. The dispute has expanded to 30 cases in 10 countries in Asia and Europe, as well as in the United States.

"I think it is just a start and (the lawsuits) will last for a considerable time," Shin said.

"I don't think there is much gain (from lawsuits against Apple). What we are losing is the pride in our brand."

Samsung is also seeking to block sales of the iPhone 4S, which went on sales last Friday in seven countries. Apple said it sold more than 4 million units of the new iPhone during the first three days of sales.

The Korean firm filed motions in France, Italy, Japan and Australia to stop the sale of the iPhone 4S, which Samsung claims violated wireless patents and designs.

Samsung added personnel to its legal team to ramp up the battle against Apple and plans to hire more lawyers, according to Shin.

"(I realized that) having technological power and being business savvy aren't enough," he said.

Despite the court injunctions in Germany and Australia, Shin said Samsung can meet its annual tablet sales target of a five-fold increase from last year.


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