Samsung avoids Dutch smartphone ban by modifying software

The bitter legal battle between Apple and Samsung has taken a fresh turn with the South Korean vendor launching a modified smartphone that doesn't use the technology contested by Apple.

Samsung's Galaxy S II

The South Korean news agency, YonHap, as reported by the AP, said that Samsung will remove a feature that has been judged in the Netherlands to violate one of Apple's patents. The Dutch court in August imposed a sales injunction on three Samsung smartphone models: the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Ace. Samsung modified its smartphone software to produce a different method of browsing pictures.

Samsung confirmed, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report, that it will start selling the modified smartphones in the Netherlands this month, and could adopt a similar approach in other markets where Apple has, or is seeking, a ban on Samsung tablets and selected smartphones.

 "Some of the technologies that Apple claimed violated their patents can be easily modified with alternative technologies," Samsung spokesman James Chung told Dow Jones Newswires.

Samsung also confirmed that it plans to continue with its four lawsuits filed last month in a Dutch court seeking a ban on the local sales of iPhone and iPad products.

However, analysts believe the eventual outcome will be that the two firms agree a series of cross-licensing deals.

"The trials are likely to extend for more than one year. However, if both companies are able to ban each other's products in various countries, then the logical solution would be for Samsung and Apple to agree to cross-license each other's patents," Fitch Ratings technology analyst Alvin Lim told Dow Jones Newswires.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article
- see this Reuters article
- see this AP article

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