Uh-oh. Sounds like Samsung's lawyers heard about Samsung Mobile President Shin Jong-kyun's little statement that the Galaxy Nexus was designed such that no "known" Apple patents were used or infringed on by the phone. This was probably, to be frank, a very stupid thing to say. Aside from basically challenging Apple to take a closer look at the Galaxy Nexus, there's also the fact that, if Jong-kyun's statement was actually correct and Samsung did design the Galaxy Nexus to avoid Apple patents, that Apple's lawyers would love to quote it at various patent infringement trials around the world. 

This could be introduced to a jury as evidence that Samsung had reason to believe, at the point the Galaxy Nexus was designed, that their other products could be infringing on Apple patents. The admissibility of this statement in a U.S. court may be possible, even though it is highly prejudicial to Samsung, as the doctrine against the admissibility of subsequent remedial measures does not apply to willful patent infringement. If it is admitted, this (along with other evidence - it wouldn't be enough alone) could lead a jury to find that Samsung released phones in the U.S. knowing they were potentially infringing on Apple patents, which would allow Apple, if the jury finds patents to have been infringed, to recover treble (triple) damages.

It's rare that you get such a public, verifiable, and concrete statement from such a high-ranking corporate officer about a product's IP strength. It's also likely that Samsung doesn't want to mislead shareholders (which happens to be a crime in most countries) by representing that the Galaxy Nexus is Apple-lawsuit-proof when that may not be the case.

One of Samsung Mobile's executives, Won-Pyo Hong, cleared up the situation for Samsung at AsiaD, saying that patents were not a big part of Samsung's discussion when they designed the Galaxy Nexus. Hong claims "At the time this [patent infringement] was not a really heavy issue." He also said, probably without skipping a beat, "“I don’t know where that rumor is from." Well, we're pretty sure it was your boss. 

Actually, it was a quote from Korean news outlet Yonhap, who claim Jong-kyun said that the Galaxy Nexus was designed to bypass legal attacks from Apple. Though, it's quite possible they took Jong-kyun's statement that "We will see if (the Galaxy Nexus) will be 100 percent free [of Apple lawsuits]" as an implication that the phone was designed to avoid patent litigation, which pretty obviously implies that Apple patents were a concern in the phone's design. Of course, this could also just be a "misunderstanding" or a Korean-to-English translation quirk. Yep, totally.