In a lawsuit filed on Friday in the District of Columbia, Apple claims that a number of Samsung's smartphones, including the Galaxy S 4G, Nexus S and Epic 4G infringe on Apple's patents and trademarks.

Most significant, the suit cites Samsung's Galaxy Tab, a major competitor to the iPad tablet, as a major reason for the suit.

Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products, Apple said in the lawsuit. Apple is seeking injunction on the specified products and punitive damages.

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, an Apple spokesperson stated the company's case. 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, the representative said. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.

In the suit, Apple claims Samsung lifted significant portions of the iPhone's user interface and the iPhone's trade dress, a term used to describe the shape of the device itself. Like the iPod and iPad, Apple says, the Galaxy Tab features a rectangular design with rounded corners and a black border. Rows of icons also play a significant role in the device's design.

Samsung has yet to comment on the suit.

An interesting inclusion in the suit is the Nexus S, the phone touted by Google as being the flagship device for its smartphone operating system Android. Like many smartphones manufactured by Samsung and others, the Nexus S prominently features rows of icons on its front.

Apple filed a similar suit against both HTC and Nokia. We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it, said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in response to the HTC suit. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.

The various smartphone makers and technology companies -- including Apple, Nokia, Research in Motion, Motorola and even Kodak -- are all enmeshed in a web of intellectual property lawsuits, of which this is only the latest.