Samsung targets iPhone 4S sales ban in France, Italy

Wed Oct 5, 2011 9:29am EDT
 
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SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics said it will file patent-infringement claims in France and Italy to ban the sale of Apple's new iPhone less than a day after it was unveiled, intensifying a legal battle between the two top brands.

It will also file legal cases in other countries to stop the sale of the iPhone 4S after further review, the South Korean maker of Galaxy smartphones and tablets said in a statement.

Samsung has emerged as a credible challenger to Apple's mobile devices and the two companies are battling over patents in courtrooms around the world. They have sued each other in 10 countries involving more than 20 cases since April.

The latest salvo from Samsung comes hours after Apple's newest iPhone launch left investors and Apple fans wishing for more than a souped-up version of its previous device introduced more than a year ago. Apple shares fell as much as 5 percent before recovering to close down 0.6 percent on Tuesday.

"Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free-ride on our technology," the South Korean firm said in a statement. "We will steadfastly protect our intellectual property."

Samsung said preliminary injunction requests for a ban on iPhone 4S sales will be filed on Wednesday and each case involves two patent infringements related to its wireless technology.

Under French and Italian laws, companies can seek and courts can order a ban on sales of a product even before it hits the market, Samsung spokesman James Chung told Reuters.

Apple and Samsung are vying for the top spot in the global smartphone market.

But the intensifying legal battle with Apple threatens to derail Samsung's telecoms and component businesses. Apple is Samsung's biggest customer, buying mainly chips and displays.   Continued...

 
<p>Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, speaks about iPhones, including the iPhone 4S, at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California October 4, 2011. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith</p>