Apple asked a U.S. court to issue a preliminary injunction against Samsung on four patents in a dispute between the two companies, according to a court filing.

In April, Apple sued Samsung in a California federal court, claiming the South Korean firm's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets slavishly copies the iPhone and iPad.

Samsung then countersued in California, and earlier this week asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to impose an import ban on Apple's iPhones and iPads.

Apple asked the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. on Friday to issue a preliminary injunction that would prevent Samsung from infringing three Apple design patents, and one utility patent, according to a court filing.

If granted, the preliminary injunction would apply to Samsung products including the Galaxy S 4G smartphone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer, Apple's court filing says.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846.

(Reporting by Dan Levine, editing by Bernard Orr)