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Apple wants to keep Samsung's Galaxy S3 out of U.S.

Samsung's newest flagship smartphone is the latest to be targeted by Apple's legal team. Apple's trying to keep it out of the U.S.

Samsung's Galaxy S3 smartphone.
Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphone.
Brian Bennett/CNET

Excited shoppers weren't the only ones buying Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S III, when it went on sale in the U.K. last month.

Apparently Apple bought one too and wasn't too happy about what it found in the box.

In a new court filing (PDF), picked up by intellectual property-tracking blog FOSS Patents, Apple says the S III infringes on two of its patents, both related to software features. As a result, the company wants to keep it from being sold in the U.S.

"Because the Galaxy S III contains two of the exact infringing features already at issue with respect to the Galaxy Nexus, the S III is not more than colorably different from the Galaxy Nexus," Apple wrote in the motion, which was filed yesterday.

The two patents in question are U.S. Patent No. 8,086,604 and No. 5,946,647. The '604 patent covers "unified search," while the '647 patent covers "links for structures."

The S3 is due to launch on five U.S. carriers beginning June 21. As the name suggests, it's the third major iteration in the Galaxy S series, which runs Google's Android OS. That line, along with a number of other Samsung devices, was targeted in a patent infringement suit filed by Apple last April, accusing the company of making "slavish" copies of its iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad.

"Samsung believes Apple's request is without merit. We will vigorously oppose the request and demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S III is innovative and distinctive," a Samsung spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. "We would also like to assure consumers that the U.S. launch and sales of the Galaxy S III will proceed as planned. The Galaxy S III has already been highly received in markets where it has been introduced. Samsung looks forward to bringing the Galaxy S III to the U.S., and we believe that Apple's actions would only serve to disrupt consumers' access to the latest innovative mobile technology.

Meanwhile, an Apple spokesperson told CNET in an e-mailed statement today, "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging, This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."

The spat is just a part of a larger battle between the two companies, and the latest in an effort by Apple to keep certain Samsung products from being sold. The CEOs and legal counsels from both companies met to discuss settlements last month, however no agreements were reached.

Now playing: Watch this: Samsung Galaxy S III is a looker

Updated at 3:31 p.m. PT with a statement from Samsung.