NEW YORK--Samsung is seeking global PR support to improve the reputation of its mobile business amid an ongoing legal war with Apple.

The Holmes Report understands that the Korean electronics giant is currently holding agency pitches in New York for the seven-figure assignment, which aims to identify a US-based agency to provide global corporate and brand reputation support for its mobile communications unit.

According to sources, the brief makes specific mention of the company’s legal issues, asking for ideas as to how the company can maintain a positive brand image during its litigation with Apple.

Earlier this year, Apple was awarded $1.05bn after winning a US patent case against Samsung, the world’s top mobile phone vendor. The Korean company is appealing the decision.

Apple has also filed a second lawsuit alleging patent infringement by various Samsung devices, including smartphones and tablets from its successful Galaxy line. Samsung has responded by filing a counter-claim  that targets Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

As global corporate agency-of-record for Samsung Electronics, it is understood that Edelman has played a substantial role in assisting the company with its public relations around the litigation. The agency was also awarded a global brief to launch the next generation of its Galaxy smartphone range in 2010 and supports the mobile unit's digital communications in North America.

In the US, Samsung’s mobile business is handled by MWW, while Weber Shandwick and Current Lifestyle Marketing oversee the consumer electronics portfolio. Allison & Partners is retained for the IT division.

The brief calls for a firm to develop a strategic communications program for Samsung, in a bid to position Samsung Mobile as a leading global brand. It is understood that key services include messaging for different audience segments; media and analyst relations; executive positioning; consumer PR; digital support; and, crisis management.

A source familiar with the situation told the Holmes Report that there is also a strong focus on Samsung’s celebrity endorsement program and on social media support.

Thanks to the strong performance of the Galaxy range, Samsung overtook Apple in worldwide smartphone sales in 2011 and also topped the overall mobile phone market in 2012.

Samsung representatives did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.