Samsung bruised by twin court rulings

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Samsung Electronics should have been relieved in a week when Steve Jobs stepped down as chief executive of its rival Apple.

Instead, this week has bruised the world’s biggest technology company by sales. A court in Germany edged towards upholding a ruling that Samsung’s tablets, which rival the iPad, could not be sold in Germany. A detailed ruling on whether Samsung has stolen Apple’s design is due on September 9. Separately, a court in the Netherlands barred Samsung from selling three smartphones that rival the iPhone for infringing Apple patents.

Things could have been worse for Samsung, which is fighting to prove its smartphones and tablets are original. The German court has retreated from a Europe-wide ban and the Dutch court rejected Apple’s attempts to block the tablet as well as the smartphones. Still, Samsung had been relaxed about ubiquitous patent suits, but now there is concern that Apple will pursue more international cases.

Google is also a concern now that it is branching into hardware with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. South Korea’s government this week expressed concern that Korean handset makers, such as Samsung, should cut their software dependence on Google’s Android operating system.

Seoul suggests a government-led consortium could create a home-grown OS to rival Google. Analysts said the government’s idea would not work, suggesting instead Samsung should either buy a foreign operating system or build a more balanced OS portfolio, without such emphasis on Android. For Samsung, this could mean more Windows models and an improvement of its own system, Bada.

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