Samsung Electronics Co. has accused Apple of patent infringement in Australia, widening a growing dispute between the two companies over smartphone technologies. Samsung is also appealing a German court's ruling to ban the sale of its Galaxy Tab in Germany.

Samsung on Saturday said it filed a lawsuit in Australia claiming that Apple's iPhone and iPad 2 tablet violate a number of wireless-technology patents it holds.

James Chung, a Seoul-based spokesman for Samsung, confirmed the news with Bloomberg. The South Korean company filed the claim with the Federal Court of Australia claiming that Apple's iPhone and iPad infringe on seven patents related to wireless communications standards, Bloomberg reported.

Samsung is Apple's closest rival and the legal battle between both companies, in terms of tablet computers, is intensifying. These battles are coming at a time when the number of consumers using these sought after devices and smartphones to surf the Web, play games and download music is growing.

Samsung has a proud history of innovation in the mobile industry, the South Korea-based company has said after filing the Australian suit, as reported by Bloomberg. It has invested continuously in R&D, design and technology to produce our innovative and cutting-edge mobile devices.

But Apple, a Cupertino-based company, tells a different story, as both it and Samsung have been battling over market share for both phones and tablet computers.

Apple has said Samsung has slavishly copied the iPad and iPhone. It was recently successful in blocking Galaxy sales in Australia and Germany.

Earlier in September, a Dusseldorf court upheld the temporary sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany because it looks too similar to Apple's iPad 2. The judges stopped short of banning sales in other European Union countries as Apple had sought.

Samsung had to pull the new Galaxy Tab out of the IFA consumer-electronics show in Berlin, and promised to appeal the decision.

In response, Samsung filed a new complaint against Apple in France for patents infringement also its rival's iPhone and iPad devices infringe on three Samsung-owned patents. That suit targets Apple's iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G as smartphone models, as well as the iPad and iPad 2.

A preliminary hearing on that matter should happen in December.

The two firms also have legal battles in the U.S and Asia.