Tech Industry

Ahead of iPad debut, Samsung hits Apple with a suit

Samsung files a new lawsuit against Apple in South Korea, alleging that its iPhone 4S and iPad 2 are violating three of its patents.

Samsung hits Apple with another lawsuit.
James Martin/CNET

Some credit has to be given to Samsung Electronics' sense of timing.

Just hours before Apple is set to unveil the latest iteration of its iPad, the technology giant was hit with yet another patent lawsuit from Samsung. This time, Samsung is alleging in a suit filed in South Korea that Apple's iPhone 4S and iPad 2 are violating three patents, according to Reuters.

The lawsuit represents a further escalation of tensions between the smartphone rivals, who are shaping up to be the two dominant players in the business. Samsung last year had briefly surpassed Apple in smartphone sales thanks to the strength of its Galaxy S II phones, but Apple surged back with the launch of the iPhone 4S in October.

Apple reiterated its claims that Samsung's products look similar to its own.

"This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," said a company spokeswoman.

Samsung confirmed the lawsuits, and noted they were separate from another filing made in April over different patents.

"Samsung will continue to assert its intellectual property rights and defend its investment in innovation in order to ensure our continued growth in the mobile industry," said a company spokesman.

The two have tangled with each other in the courtroom with mixed results. Between the two companies, there are more than two dozen cases filed in 10 countries. The results have been mixed for both sides, with a series of rulings and appeals marking little progress for either.

Apple had begun its battle against Samsung in April, alleging that its products "slavishly" copy the iPhone and iPad. Samsung countersued, and both companies have taken their fight to numerous courts around the world. The goal: win a ruling so devastating--such as a ban on a key product--that both sides will come to the bargaining table.

There are some indications that a resolution is possible. It was reported thatApple has indicated a willingness to reach a licensing deal, although it's unclear whether Samsung or Motorola Mobility are willing to agree to the offered terms.

For now, Apple is pursuing its litigation against the likes of Samsung, Motorola, and HTC.

Updated at 8:18 a.m. and 9:36 a.m. PT: to include a response from Apple and Samsung.