Samsung says upgrades smartphones to avoid Dutch sales ban

SEOUL, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co said on Wednesday it will soon release upgraded versions of three Galaxy smartphones in Europe to get around temporary sales bans on earlier versions of products that violated an Apple patent.

Apple and Samsung are locked in a bruising patent fight in more than 20 cases in 10 countries as they jostle for the top spot in the smartphone market after Nokia , the market leader for a decade, was ousted in the second quarter.

Apple tried to block sales of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets in the Netherlands, citing 10 patent rights including Apple’s claim of “slavish style copying”

A Dutch court ruled in August that Samsung had breached just one of Apple’s patents and imposed a sales injunction on three Samsung smartphone models-- Galaxy S, S II and Ace -- and dismissed all other claims including model rights.

The Apple patent allows for a certain method of scrolling or browsing through photos in some Samsung smartphones.

The court imposed a sales injunction of the affected products in some European countries and offered a grace period until Oct. 14 to address the infringement.

“We’ve fixed the technological problem and upgraded products to address the issue. They will be shortly available for sale,” Samsung spokesman James Chung said.

He declined to comment on an exact launch date.

The move comes as Samsung awaits a court ruling in Australia on Thursday over Apple’s request to temporarily ban sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country, a crucial ruling that may affect pre-Christmas sales.