updated 11:18 am EDT, Tue August 28, 2012
Will continue fight to overturn or appeal patent verdict
Samsung, facing possible US sales injunctions against a range of products that generate billions of dollars in US sales annually, is talking to carriers about feature removals and workarounds along with design modifications on some of its smartphones in an effort to keep the products available to US customers. It will also pursue court remedies against the overwhelming victory scored by Apple in the recent patent trial, but will modify products in the meantime.
Samsung says it already has workarounds for two of the patents it was found to be guilty of infringing that are found in a number of products, most importantly the popular Galaxy S II smartphone, which is sold by all major US carriers, reports The Wall Street Journal. Keeping that phone on the market will also require some hardware design changes, as patent case observers and legal analysts think there is a high likelihood that Judge Lucy Koh will grant Apple-requested injunctions on eight Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S II.
The list of phones presented to the court for sales bans is believed to be just the beginning. The jury in the trial found a total of 28 Samsung products that were infringing on various Apple patents, and the company may well ask for further bans. Although the trial did not cover two of Samsung's latest products -- the noticeably less iPhone-like Galaxy S III and the "phablet" Galaxy Note -- Apple is pursuing a sales injunction on the S III in a separate case due to software infringements. Samsung is expected to work around those patents and is likely to keep the product on the market.
The eight phones targeted by Apple are Samsung's most popular models that were covered in the case, and are projected to generate $3 billion in annual US sales for the South Korean company. Any changes made to the products to keep them legal in the US are likely to also be made to international versions in due course to avoid similar lawsuits elsewhere.
Samsung says it will seek to have the jury verdict overturned through post-trial motions or the filing of an appeal, but assuming Judge Koh keeps the verdict intact, the appeals process is likely to take at least a year -- during which present and possibly future Samsung products could be subjected to injunctions, a possibility that would cost Samsung billions. The hearing on the sales injunctions is scheduled for September 20. [via The Wall Street Journal]