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Monday, May 30, 2011, 05:55 am PT (08:55 am ET)

Samsung exec says Apple's claims of copying iPhone design aren't 'legally problematic'

The head of Samsung's mobile communications business has said in a new interview that he isn't concerned with legal ramifications from Apple's assertion that Samsung copied the "look and feel" of devices like the iPhone and iPad.

"We didn't copy Apple's design," J.K. Shin said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "We have used many similar designs over the past years and it [Apple's allegation] will not be legally problematic."

Shin also reportedly suggested that the scale of the current legal battle with Apple could grow. However, he declined to elaborate.

The courtroom showdown began in April when Apple sued Samsung, charging the South Korean electronics company with copying its devices with products like the Galaxy S, Nexus S, Epic 4G and Galaxy Tab. Samsung quickly fired back, and accused Apple of infringing on patents it owns related to cellphone transmission technologies.

Samsung has been ordered by a California judge to show Apple prototypes of new devices it is working on, and Samsung has requested that it receive an advanced look at Apple's next iPhone and iPad as well. The legal battle ensues even as Apple remains one of the largest customers, of Samsung, which makes processors, displays, memory and more for Apple's mobile devices.

Samsung's own devices, which compete with Apple's iPhone and iPad, are powered by the Google Android mobile operating system. Shin said in his interview with the Journal that Samsung plans to continue to rely on Android with future devices.



Samsung has been working on its own proprietary platform, dubbed Bada, for some time, and it isn't abandoning that software, the company said. But the report also revealed that Samsung is "focusing on Android," particularly in the tablet business where the company hopes to compete with Apple's market-leading iPad.

"When there is a market need for our own software, we will consider it," said Younghee Lee, senior vice president of sales and marketing with Samsung. "But that's not our plan at the moment."