* Apple seeks to halt Japan sales of Galaxy smartphones, Tab
* Court case came after Samsung sued Apple in Japan
* Global patent battles raging between tech giants
(Changes sourcing, adds details)
TOKYO, Sept 8 Apple is seeking to ban
sales of some Samsung Electronics gadgets in Japan,
accusing its rival of violating patents relating to the iPhone
and iPad, the latest salvo in a series of patent battles between
the two companies.
Apple has filed a suit with the Tokyo District Court seeking
the suspension of sales of Galaxy S and its sequel S II
smartphones and the Galaxy Tab 7 in Japan, according to sources
close to the matter. The first hearing was held on Wednesday,
the source said.
Samsung has been locked in a battle with Apple over
smartphone and tablet patents since April. The Galaxy gadgets
are seen as among the biggest challengers to Apple's mobile
devices, which have achieved runaway success.
In a global intellectual property battle, Apple has said the
Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copied the
iPhone and iPad, and it has sued the Korean firm in the United
States, Australia and Korea as well as Europe.
Samsung, whose tablets are based on Google Inc's
Android software, has countersued Apple.
Samsung filed a suit against Apple in Japan in April and
Apple countersued on August 23, Samsung said. Apple is seeking
100 million yen ($1.3 million) in damages, as well as the sales
ban, according to Kyodo news agency, which reported the news
Samsung's Galaxy S outsold Apple's iPhone in Japan in
January-March, according to data from research firm Strategy
A spokesman for the Tokyo District Court said he could not
comment on pending cases.
Last month, Samsung said it would delay the launch of its
latest Galaxy tablet computers in Australia until after a court
ruling in late September. Last week, a German court banned sales
of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7
Earlier on Thursday, Japan's top mobile carrier NTT Docomo
launched Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 on its high-speed
"We have heard from Samsung that it's all right," NTT Docomo
President Ryuji Yamada told reporters at the launch when asked
about the patent battles. "At this point we don't think it will
harm our sales."
($1 = 77.325 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Isabel Reynolds and Reiji Murai in TOKYO and
Miyoung Kim in SEOUL; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Anshuman Daga)