Apple has launched a lawsuit against Samsung, accusing the company of infringing patents - along with the 'look and feel' - of Apple's iOS-powered portable devices with the Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy range.
The suit alleges that Samsung has infringed upon Apple's patents on the use of gestures to operate the devices, the colour of the devices, the rectangular shape of the devices - ending in the bold claim that Samsung's entire Galaxy line was created specifically to mimic Apple's iPad and iPhone.
While some of the company's claims - such as holding a patent on making a portable device rectangular - are unlikely to hold up in court, Apple is clearly confident of its success. Should the court find in Apple's favour, it's likely that other manufacturers will be targeted in turn - with the likely order representing the level of threat Apple feels each poses to its portable device sales.
Apple's choice of Samsung for the initial lawsuit is an interesting one - despite the company's success in the smartphone and tablet markets making it an obvious target - for one simple reason: Samsung produces the A4 and A5 processors found in Apple's iPad, iPad 2, and iPhone product lines, based on designs from British chip giant ARM.
By targeting Samsung in this way, Apple runs the risk of the company cancelling its processor manufacturing at the earliest opportunity - leaving Apple without a supplier for vital components of its mobile device line-up. Previously, rumours have spread claiming that Apple is looking to move away from Samsung and towards other manufacturers such as TSMC for its processor manufacturing - and if Apple feels confident enough to attack its only source of processors, such a deal seems almost certain.
Samsung has claimed that it will defend against Apple's claims, but neither company was available to comment at the time of writing.