Apple Inc. has filed a patent suit with a court in South Korea, claiming Samsung Electronics copied its intellectual property, the latest in the companies' legal tussle over their best-selling smartphone and tablet devices.
The iPhone-maker filed a suit with the Seoul Central District Court on June 22, according to a case record on the court’s website that doesn't provide details of Apple’s claims.
The litigation comes as Samsung filed patent suits in South Korea, Japan and Germany in April over Apple's iPhone and iPad after the California-based Apple claimed in April that Samsung's Galaxy line slavishly copied its products.
We have filed a lawsuit against Samsung with the Seoul Central District Court, Apple Korea's spokesman Steve Park told Dow Jones Newswires.
Separately, Apple Korea told Dow Jones: It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.
In response, Samsung said Apple's latest legal action wouldn't affect its stance over the patent lawsuit. We will continue to actively defend and protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communication business, Samsung said in a emailed statement to Dow Jones Newswires.
Samsung is one of the fastest growing smartphone makers on the back of a boom in Android operating system and has emerged as Apple's strongest competitor in the tablet market.
The April 15 complaint filed by Apple claimed that Samsung is infringing seven patents related to the way Galaxy devices’ touch screens understand user gestures, including selecting, scrolling, pinching and zooming. Added to that, Apple also claimed that Samsung is copying three patents on the design, including the flat black face of the iPhone and iPad.
Apple named Samsung Electronics, Samsung America and Samsung Telecommunications America as defendants and cited the Galaxy Tab and Epic 4G, Captivate, Indulge, Nexus S and Galaxy S 4G smartphones as examples of copied devices.
As part of that suit, Samsung had asked a federal judge in the U.S. to order Apple to turn over samples of Apple’s forthcoming iPads and iPhones. It lost that bid on June 22.
Ultimately, the essence of Apple's claims is that Samsung has copied Apple's products. Common sense suggests that allegations of copying are necessarily directed at Apple's existing products, to which Samsung has access and could potentially mimic, and not at Apple's unreleased, inaccessible, next generation products, the judge wrote in his ruling.
Apple stock rose 0.69 percent to $333.50 in the pre-market trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market.