South Korea-based Samsung Electronics Co., which has so far been on the defensive in its ongoing patent battle with Apple Inc., has finally launched an attack of its own on its Cupertino-based rival.

On Monday, Samsung filed for preliminary injunctions in Japan and Australia, seeking a ban on sales of Apple's newly launched iPhone 4S.

The South Korean company filed two different cases - one at the Tokyo District Court in Japan and the other at the New South Wales Registry in Australia. The company also asked the Japanese court to ban sales of both the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2.

A similar case, filed by Samsung in a Netherlands court, was rejected last Friday as the court found that Samsung's 3G patents were part of essential standards which should be open to license under FRAND (Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory terms) and that the two companies should negotiate an agreement.

Apple and Samsung have filed as many as 20 cases in nine countries. Apple won a case in Germany which blocked the sale of the Samsung Galaxy. In return, Samsung has also filed cases against Apple in Italy and France.

Samsung's case in Australia relates to patents for wireless telecommunications standards, whereas the case filed in the Japanese court cites infringements in technology and user-interface patents.

Apple had earlier rejected Samsung's offer of settling the legal dispute on tablet technology in Australia. After the rejection, Samsung started planning its attack against Apple in a distinctly more organized and systematic manner than earlier.

Last month, a Samsung executive, in a statement given to Korea Times, said, Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here (in Korea), Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung's wireless technology related patents.

The statement seemed to indicate the launch of what was thought to be the iPhone 5, at the Oct. 4 event.

For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights, the executive added in his statement.

With these two new cases, the legal dispute is set to become particularly intense, as both companies have been releasing products based on the same technology. After the iPhone 4S launch, Apple is preparing for the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, whereas Samsung is going to announce its new Android sensation Nexus Prime soon.