Samsung's latest weapon against Apple: An emoticon

Samsung reloads in Germany with four more patents--including one involving a smiley face input--but there's still no sign the legal battles will end soon.

Samsung Electronics is hoping to kill Apple in the courtroom with a smile.

Samsung tacked on four new patents in fresh complaints brought against Apple in a German court, according to legal blog FOSS Patents. One of the patents involves a method of entering an emoticon on the screen.

The patents were brought up amid deliberations in two separate trials in German court, one in which Apple is suing Samsung, and vice versa. Given the new patents, which resulted in the creation of two new Samsung v. Apple lawsuits, the patent showdown in Germany is likely to continue for awhile.

The legal battle in Germany is just one of many conflicts between the two companies that have touched down in the U.S., Australia, South Korea, and several countries in Europe.

The other patents involve one that sends data on the screen to the loudspeakers for speech output, a method of configuring how data is sent to the network, and a way to report inter-frequency measurement during the communications uplink.

The patents represent an escalation of the legal wrangling between the two companies. FOSS Patents author and legal consultant Florian Mueller said he expects similar action from Apple.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Apple decided to respond to this escalation by bringing several additional patent infringement lawsuits against Samsung in Germany," he said in his blog.

Apple is already suing HTC and Motorola Mobility in the same court in Germany.