SEOUL–South Korea’s Samsung Electronics said Monday it is trying to block the sale of Apple’s newest iPhone in Japan and Australia, escalating a legal battle with the U.S. company after several setbacks. Samsung said in a statement it had filed for preliminary injunctions in courts in Tokyo and the Australian state of New South Wales, seeking a ban on sales of the new iPhone 4S on the grounds it infringed on Samsung’s technology patents. The Korean firm said it is also seeking a sales ban on the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 in Japan, after Apple won a temporary ban on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet in Australia. “Apple has continued to violate our patent rights and free-ride on our technology. We will no longer stand idly by and will steadfastly protect our intellectual property,” Samsung said.
The filing in Japan cites infringement of technology patents, Samsung said, accusing Apple of also violating in Australia three of its wireless technologies essential for operating mobile phones.
In a separate filing, the Korean firm also appealed against an Australian court’s interim order Friday to suspend sales of its Galaxy 10.1 tablet at the request of Apple, which claims a breach of touch-screen technology patents.
Samsung, the world’s number two mobile phone maker after Nokia, and Apple have been embroiled in a series of patent suits accusing each other of copying designs and technology for their smart phones and tablets.
The legal battle over the AU$100 billion market began in April in the United States when Apple accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying its market-leading iPhone and iPad. Apple has since sought a ban on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S smart phones and Galaxy Tab in Germany, Australia and other countries, prompting Samsung to file counter-suits. In the latest ruling, a Dutch court Friday rejected a bid by Samsung to ban sales of Apple’s 3G phones and tablet devices there due to alleged patent infringements of wireless technologies. Samsung is also seeking to block sales of the iPhone 4S in Italy and France in separate suits. The new model went on sale in many markets last week.