(Edits, adds links)
* Samsung says to file for sales injunction in France, Italy
* Plans to take similar actions in other countries
* Says Apple "free-riding" on Samsung's patents
* Latest in long list of legal disputes between companies
SEOUL, Oct 5 Samsung Electronics
said it will file patent-infringement claims in France and Italy
to ban the sale of Apple's new iPhone less than a day after it
was unveiled, intensifying a legal battle between the two top
It will also file legal cases in other countries to stop the
sale of the iPhone 4S after further review, the South Korean
maker of Galaxy smartphones and tablets said in a statement.
Samsung has emerged as a credible challenger to Apple's
mobile devices and the two companies are battling over patents
in courtrooms around the world. They have sued each other in 10
countries involving more than 20 cases since April.
The latest salvo from Samsung comes hours after Apple's
newest iPhone launch left investors and Apple fans wishing for
more than a souped-up version of its previous device introduced
more than a year ago. Apple shares fell as much as 5 percent
before recovering to close down 0.6 percent on Tuesday.
"Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual
property rights and free-ride on our technology," the South
Korean firm said in a statement. "We will steadfastly protect
our intellectual property."
Samsung said preliminary injunction requests for a ban on
iPhone 4S sales will be filed on Wednesday and
each case involves two patent infringements
related to its wireless technology.
Under French and Italian laws, companies can seek and courts
can order a ban on sales of a product even before it hits the
market, Samsung spokesman James Chung told Reuters.
Apple and Samsung are vying for the top spot in the global
But the intensifying legal battle with Apple threatens to
derail Samsung's telecoms and component businesses. Apple is
Samsung's biggest customer, buying mainly chips and displays.
On Tuesday, Apple rejected an offer from Samsung to settle a
tablet computer dispute in Australia, possibly killing off the
commercial viability of the new Galaxy tablet in that market.
Samsung is set to report sharply lower quarterly earnings on
Friday on persistent declines in chip prices, while investors
look for signs its telecom business can sustain its booming
Samsung's intensifying attack comes after a series of
setbacks in Europe and Australia.
Apple and Samsung are due to meet again in courtrooms in the
United States, the Netherlands and South Korea next week.
Apple says Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and
tablets "slavishly" copied its iPhone and iPad.
Samsung, widely expected to overtake Apple as the world's
No.1 smartphone vendor in unit terms in the third quarter,
rejects the claims.
Samsung accused Apple of not paying licensing fees for some
of its patents before it started selling iPhones in 2007. Apple
argues Samsung never demanded a licence fee until 2010 and
before that Samsung remained silent because Apple is an
The iPhone 4S adds to Apple's iPhone 3G, 3GS, iPhone 4 and
iPad 2 products that Samsung claims infringed its
Samsung's latest Galaxy tablets, powered by Google's
Android operating system, have already been blocked in
Germany. So too have some smartphone models in the Netherlands.
Shares in Samsung closed up 1.7 percent on Wednesday after
the new iPhone failed to wow fans and investors, leaving Android
rivals better placed to grab market share.
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)