Hit by a lawsuit from Apple last week, Samsung returned the favor yesterday, countersuing the iPhone and iPad maker over claims of patent infringement.
In its suit filed in Seoul Central District Court, Samsung claims that Apple is violating five different patents. Samsung has also filed a suit in Tokyo, citing two patent infringements, and another in Manheim, Germany, citing three instances of infringement.
A statement on the Samsung Web site says that the company is "responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business."
Last week, Apple launched its case against Samsung, claiming that Samsung's smartphones and new tablet violate Apple's intellectual property rights in the design of mobile devices. Apple's suit is targeting Samsung's Galaxy phones and Galaxy Tab tablet, as well as some of the company's other smartphones, claiming that Samsung has copied Apple's user interface and design.
"Apple is quite annoyed by Samsung's fast rise in a market which it virtually created," James Song, an analyst at Daewoo Securities, told Reuters today. "It's quite threatening to see how quickly Samsung plays catchup, and Apple might have felt a strong urge to put a brake on its march just when Samsung is set to roll out a new smartphone in May ahead of its new iPhone."
Samsung is due to release its new Galaxy S II smartphone at the beginning of May. Currently, the company offers a range of phones as part of its Galaxy lineup, including the Galaxy S 4G, the Galaxy Indulge, and the Galaxy Prevail.
The company is also lining up new editions of its Galaxy Tab to join its current 7-inch tablet. In the works are a 10.1-inch dual-core edition and two "thin" models, one with an 8.9-inch display and the other with a 10.1-inch display.
The legal parry and thrust could jeopardize the relationship between the two companies, notes Reuters, as Apple leans heavily on Samsung to supply chips and LCD displays for the iPhone and iPad. The two also reportedly have a huge deal in the works in which Apple would secure $7.8 billion worth of displays and processors from Samsung.