Samsung Electronics Co. will shy away from displaying some of its new handsets at future trade exhibitions to prevent rivals from copying designs, company officials said.
Samsung said there have been a growing number of examples in which other companies have released similar models in a short time.
The leading electronics company in Korea is worried that profits are being lost because its products lose their uniqueness too early. That means that Samsung is reduced to competing only on price, instead of design or innovation, weakening the company's competitiveness, it said.
Samsung recently overtook Motorola Inc. to become the world's second-largest mobile phone vendor by sales after Nokia Oyj.
Some examples of copying, officials said, include the so-called "intenna" camera phone, or a phone with a built-in antenna, which Samsung claims a Chinese company copied entirely except for switching the position of the camera. Samsung says even its Anycall brand was printed on the phone.
Samsung says it is looking into what legal options it may take against the company but admits that intellectual property protection is nearly nonexistent.
A Samsung official said the new policy means the company will still participate in future exhibitions but keep state-of-the-art technologies and designs out of the view of other manufacturers.
"We are just following a strategy to prioritize protecting state-of-the-art technologies and innovative designs over winning design contests," said Yoon Ji-hong.
Samsung is scheduled to participate at next month's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV, U.S. as well as CeBIT next spring in Hanover, Germany. (The Korean Herald)
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