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Samsung preps phone updates to avoid sales ban, report says

The company says that the updates will be coming "shortly" to store shelves in order to continue selling its products.

Samsung is updating its smartphones to make a Dutch court's Oct. 14 deadline.
Samsung is updating its smartphones to make a Dutch court's October 14 deadline.

Samsung is planning to launch updated versions of its Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Ace smartphones in the Netherlands to avoid seeing its handsets banned from sale later this month.

"We've fixed the technological problem and upgraded products to address the issue," a Samsung spokesman told Reuters in a statement published today. "They will be shortly available for sale."

Samsung's spokesman did not tell Reuters what changes were made or exactly when the smartphones will hit store shelves.

Samsung was forced to make updates to its handsets following a ruling by a Dutch court in August that found the company in violation of a software patent Apple holds. The court gave Samsung until this Friday to address the issue or face a temporary ban on the sale of its smartphones.

In a statement to CNET following the August ruling, Samsung didn't say for sure that it would be updating its smartphones, but the company did reassure customers that there would be "no disruption of availability of our Galaxy smartphones to Dutch consumers." The company also said that it didn't expect the ruling to "affect sales in other European markets."

However, Samsung has already been hit hard in Germany. Last month, a German court ruled that the company's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet infringed Apple patents and would be banned from sale in that country. The ruling followed an earlier call by a German court to ban the tablet across Europe, but that idea was quickly thrown out, due to a lack of jurisdiction around the continent.

But it's not just Europe. In Australia, Apple and Samsung are locked in a bitter patent dispute that has stopped the sale of the Galaxy Tab 1.0 in that country. Samsung has also taken aim at Apple, saying that its iPhone and iPad violate patents it holds related to wireless technology.

In an attempt to get its tablet on Australian store shelves, Samsung offered Apple the opportunity to see three versions of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and approve one that would go on sale. But soon after, Samsung took the option off the table, deciding instead to battle it out in court.

Samsung did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on why it followed a different strategy this time around and modify its smartphones.