Samsung seeks iPhone 4S ban in Australia, Japan

Samsung is to seek a ban on the Apple iPhone 4S in Japan and Australia, in the latest bout of its tit-for-tat patent row with the US IT giant, just days after an Australian court passed a temporary injunction against sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android tablet.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Samsung today filed for interim injunctions in both the Tokyo District Court and Australia's New South Wales Registry to stop the sale of the iPhone 4S, which went on sale in seven countries last Friday. In addition, Samsung has petitioned Japanese courts to place a halt on sales of Apple's iPhone 4 and iPad 2. Samsung is already seeking a ban on the iPhone 4S in France and Italy.

"We are actively responding in (the legal battle) with Apple," said James Chung, a Samsung spokesman.

The filing in Japan claims Apple's devices infringe technology and user-interface patents held by Samsung, while the Australian case hinged on infringement of patents relating to 3G wireless telecommunications standards.

Apple Korea spokesman Steve Park reiterated the company's stand that Samsung has copied Apple's designs. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," he said.

Samsung Chief Operating Officer and President Lee Jae-yong left Seoul on Sunday to attend a memorial service for Steve Jobs in the US, with commentators speculating that he may attempt to discuss the two companies' legal tussle with new Apple CEO Tim Cook.

"I will have a chance to meet Cook, but I'm not going there for business purposes. I'm going to pay tribute to Steve Jobs, and I don't know what I will talk about with Cook," Lee told local media. "Apple is one of Samsung's most important clients, and we have developed a solid partnership. But that's a separate matter from the legal disputes between the two companies in areas where they compete," he added.