Samsung Avoids Dutch Sales Ban By Upgrading Galaxy Phones

12 Oct

Touché. Europe may be where some of the fiercest court battles are taking place between Apple and Samsung over patents, but it’s also where consumers will soon get their hands on three versions of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones that have been specially upgraded to, in one way, stick it to Apple.

Samsung says the upgrades will allow it to circumvent a court ban on sales of earlier versions of the products in the Netherlands, which were ruled to have violated Apple’s patent.

Last August a Dutch court banned sales of the Galaxy S, S II and Ace in the Netherlands, after it decided that Samsung had breached one of Apple’s technology patents. Apple had claimed Samsung was engaged in “slavish style copying.”

The sales ban also included a “grace period” until Oct. 14 – this  Friday – to deal with the infringement. A spokesman for Samsung told Reuters that the company had now “fixed the technological problem and upgraded products to address the issue. They will be shortly available for sale.”

He added that Samsung might try a similar approach in other European markets where Apple has successfully called for a sales ban on its products, though but he did not give an exact launch date or give details on how exactly they would be considered upgrades.

Samsung and Apple are now engaged in 20 different patent disputes in 10 countries, according to Reuters, as the South Korean electronics giant fights tooth and nail to beat Apple as the world’s No. 1 smartphone maker.

Samsung recently rented a pop-up shop just a few meters down the road from Apple’s main store in Sydney, Australia in an apparent attempt to pre-empt the release of the iPhone 4S by offering consumers the Galaxy S II for $2, for a limited period. The move has led to long queues in front of Samsung’s temporary store, since only the first 10 people in line are let in on the deal, according to The Next Web.

Analysts at Nomura also cited Samsung in a note this morning as among their preferred stocks in the smartphone and handset market. They say that Samsung will benefit from falling component costs, which will in turn drive the prices of phones that run on Google’s Android operating system close to the $100 mark over the coming 12 months.

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