updated 08:45 am EDT, Wed October 19, 2011
Samsung Galaxy Nexus more respectful of patents
The Galaxy Nexus was designed partly to avoid patent lawsuits from Apple, Samsung's mobile head JK Shin said in commentary on Wednesday. While he wasn't specific on what patents might be avoided or even if it would be completely cleared, he told Yonhap that there was a conscious attempt to guarantee it would stay on sale. The Galaxy Nexus notably avoids the deliberately iPhone-like home button and TouchWiz interface of phones such as the international Galaxy S II.
"Now we will avoid everything we can and take patents very seriously," he said, implying the company had previously not been focusing on whether or not it might be copying technology.
The company has regularly dropped hints that it's at least somewhat aware of similarities to Apple, as it usually changes control schemes on Galaxy phones it sells in the US.
On existing patent conflicts, he expected these would stay in progress "for a considerable time." There wouldn't be much material advantage if Samsung won against Apple in its own lawsuits, but there would be a loss of the "pride in our brand," Shin explained. He admitted that Samsung had assumed its business and technological skills would be enough and that Samsung was hiring more attorneys to help mount a defense.
The company has at times made odd decisions that suggested it wasn't fully aware of possible legal actions even just weeks ago. It recently saw the Galaxy Tab 7.7 pulled from the IFA show floor despite an existing German ban on larger Galaxy Tabs that was likely to impact the smaller model. So far, most of its countersuits have been based on 3G standards patents that often aren't legally allowed to be used for lawsuits, leading to rejected claims.