Samsung countersues Apple over phone patents

Samsung Electronics said it has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Apple just days after Apple sent a writ in the opposite direction.

The firm filed a lawsuit in the Seoul Central District Court, Korea against Apple citing five patent infringements. Separately, Samsung filed a suit in a court in Tokyo, Japan citing two patent infringements, and in Manheim, Germany citing three patent infringements.

"Samsung is responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business," the company said in a statement, The company failed to pass on any details of the alleged infringements.

Last week Apple filed suit against Samsung in California claiming Samsung's Galaxy Tab imitated the iPhone and that some of its phones looked a bit like its iPhones.

Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook said that Samsung had "crossed the line", and Apple filed the lawsuit despite being Samsung's second-largest customer

"Samsung is a very valued component supplier to us," he said, as he might since Apple gets half of its NAND memory chips millions of LCDs from the chaebol

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee complained that Samsung was getting picked on. "It's a matter of wanting to hammer in a protruding nail," he told reporters, in Seoul yesterday.