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Samsung tries to stop iPhone 4S sales in Australia

The company, which has been battling it out with Apple all over the world, says that the newly launched smartphone violates wireless patents it holds.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Samsung just isn't willing to go down without a fight.

After losing an important patent battle with Apple in Australia last week, the company has now fired back with Apple's new iPhone 4S in its crosshairs.

Samsung today filed an injunction request in an Australia court, saying that Apple's iPhone 4S, which launched on Friday, violates wireless patents it holds. According to ZDNet Australia, a CNET sister site, Samsung argues that Apple's new smartphone (in addition to the iPhone 4 and iPad 2) violate three patents in Australia. In a similar suit filed today in Japan, Samsung argues that those devices violate four of its patents.

In Australia, the patents relate to the use of wireless technology, including WCDMA and HSPA, in mobile devices. According to ZDNet Australia, the patents in the Japanese suit relate to HSPA and user-interface elements.

Apple launched its iPhone 4S on Friday. The device features the same exterior design as its predecessor, the iPhone 4, but comes with a host of improvements, including a dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera. The device is running Apple's latest operating system release, iOS 5.

For months now, Apple and Samsung have been locked in a bitter patent battle over the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. Apple argues that the tablet copies its iPad, while Samsung argues that this isn't the case. However, last week, the federal court of Australia agreed with Apple, and barred the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in that country until a full patent case can be heard.

That ruling came just before a U.S. District Court judge in Northern California said that Samsung's devices violate patents that Apple holds in the U.S., but the iPhone maker must prove that the patents it holds are, in fact, valid. So far, no injunction has been ordered in the U.S.

Last week's rulings are just the latest setbacks for Samsung and its mobile products. In the Netherlands, the company has been forced to rework its Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Ace smartphones, so it can continue selling the devices after a court ruled they violated Apple patents. In Germany, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been barred from sale due to alleged infringement on Apple patents.

But in Australia in particular, Samsung seemingly believes that the best defense is a good offense. Prior to this latest filing, the company took aim at Apple's iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, arguing that those devices violate patents it holds.

Neither Samsung nor Apple immediately responded to CNET's request for comment on the latest lawsuit.