South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co vowed yesterday to take “all necessary measures” to keep its products on US store shelves, in response to Apple Inc’s request for a ban on sales of some smartphones.
After winning a US$1.05 billion US court judgement in a patent suit last week, Apple on Monday filed a court request to ban eight Samsung mobile devices, including versions of its Galaxy and Droid smartphones.
Samsung, the world’s biggest technology firm, countered in a statement: “We will take all necessary measures to ensure the availability of our products in the US market.”
Rival Apple says that it reserves the right to seek permanent injunctions banning the sale of all 28 Samsung devices that a jury on Friday last week found infringed its patents.
However, it presented a shorter list of Samsung products “to address a portion of the immediate, ongoing irreparable harm that Apple is suffering.”
The phones that Apple included on its list for a sales ban are old models, but still available through wireless carriers and online retailers. Samsung’s newest flagship products — Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note — were not included.
The jury in San Jose, California, decided on Friday that Samsung “wilfully” infringed six Apple patents for smartphones or tablet PCs.
Samsung has vowed to contest the verdict, saying courts in other countries had previously ruled it had not copied Apple’s designs.
The company did not elaborate on its strategy, but it is considering removing or modifying features found to have infringed Apple’s patents to keep its products on the market if the sales ban is granted.
“As a last resort, we can think about workarounds,” a Samsung official said on condition of anonymity, referring to possible modifications.
Judge Lucy Koh has set a hearing for Sept. 20 to consider enforcement of injunctions against Samsung devices.
She will also hear Samsung motions to reduce or dismiss charges and Apple’s request for “punitive” damages, which could triple the award.
Samsung officials say the company could develop new products or software to avoid being a future target of patent litigation.
Samsung and other smartphone makers are working with Microsoft to launch Windows-based devices later this year. Samsung has also been working with Intel on a free and open mobile platform.
Samsung shares ended 1.27 percent higher at 1,195,000 won (US$1054) yesterday, a day after plunging 7.5 percent — the biggest single-day percentage drop the electronics giant has seen in nearly four years.
Apple’s win on Friday strengthens its position ahead of the iPhone 5’s expected Sept. 12 launch and could cement its market dominance as companies using Google Inc’s Android operating system — two-thirds of the global market — may be forced to consider design changes, analysts say.
Apple’s stock scored another record high on Monday. Shares gained 1.9 percent to close at US$675.68, tacking on another US$12 billion-plus to its already historically leading market value.