Samsung Starts Working to Sidestep Apple Patents

With the possibility of product bans looming following its patent trial loss to Apple, Samsung is already talking with cell service providers about pulling features from smartphones to work around infringement claims.

Samsung trying to work around iPhone patentsAccording to sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Samsung is asking carriers to remove infringing features from its smartphones so they can stay on store shelves even if Apple is awarded its injunction. The company is also looking at the possibility of additional product modifications, filing to stop an injunction, and appealing if an injunction is granted.

Samsung suffered a serious blow last Friday when the jury in its legal fight with Apple ruled that several of its smartphones infringed on Apple’s iPhone patents, and awarded the Cupertino company over US$1 billion in damages.

Samsung called the ruling was a loss for innovation and for consumer choice, while Apple said it was a reminder to its competitors that they need to find their own product designs instead of copying the iPhone and iPad.

Apple has already submitted its short list of phones it plans to include in its preliminary injunction request: The Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge, Galaxy Prevail, and the different versions of the Galaxy S2 that are available through AT&T, T-Mobile and Skyrocket. The two companies are scheduled to appear at a hearing for the proposed injunction on September 20.

Samsung has already said it plans to appeal last Friday’s verdict.

Judge Lucy Koh has already shown she’s willing to grant injunctions in the case since she already issued one for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, so its fairly likely she’ll do the same for the smartphones Apple listed. If so, Samsung will have to find ways to convince the court that it has worked around Apple’s patents with software updates, find a way to stop the injunction from being enforced, or face the possibility of a court order stopping the sale and import of several of its smartphones.

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