Apple's iPhone 5 Now a Samsung Target in Korea

Apple's iPhone 5 is being targeted for a possible ban by Samsung in Korea, according to a new report. That would escalate the two companies' legal war.

Apple's iPhone 5 may still be weeks away from being unveiled, but that hasn't stopped Samsung from filing a lawsuit to have the as-yet-unrevealed device banned in South Korea.

The Korea Times' Sept. 18 article quotes an unnamed source, apparently a Samsung senior executive, as saying Samsung will "take Apple to court" to block Korean sales of the iPhone 5.

Apple is widely expected to unveil the iPhone 5 sometime in the October timeframe, with the "golden master" of its upcoming iOS mobile system reportedly arriving in manufacturers' hands later this month. Some analysts have theorized that Apple intends to release a line of low-cost iPhones in addition to this premium "iPhone 5," with an eye toward combating the number of cheap Google Android smartphones on the market.

Apple has filed intellectual-property lawsuits against Samsung, HTC and Motorola. The battle with Samsung, however, has proved particularly vicious and wide-ranging, with courtroom drama taking place all over the world. Both sides claim their rival's products violate existing patents, but Apple has taken its complaints one step further by accusing Samsung of outright copying its designs.

Samsung recent filed a legal complaint in France against Apple. "The complaint focuses on three technology patents, and not on the design of the tablets," a Samsung spokesperson told Agence France-Presse, which reported that the first court hearing is scheduled for December.

In Germany, Apple won an injunction against Samsung on the grounds of patent infringement, forcing the latter to halt production of the Galaxy Tab in that country. Samsung withdrew the device from the IFA trade show in Berlin, with a spokesperson telling Bloomberg that it respected "the court's decision."

The legal battle has extended to Japan, where Apple asked a court to ban a selection of Samsung devices within that country.

Unnamed sources told Reuters Sept. 8 that Apple "has filed suit with the Tokyo District Court seeking the suspension of sales of Galaxy S and its sequel S II smartphones and the Galaxy Tab 7."

Both companies are prepping high-profile releases. In counterpoint to the iPhone 5, Samsung is pushing the Galaxy S II smartphone, which runs Android 2.3 "skinned" with the proprietary TouchWiz interface. The device includes a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen (protected by durable Gorilla Glass), 16GB of on-board memory expandable via microSD to 32GB, and two cameras.

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