Ina Fried

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Samsung Fires Back Against Apple with Lawsuits of Its Own

Well, that didn’t take long.

After vowing to respond aggressively to Apple’s legal assault, Samsung reportedly shot back Thursday with multiple suits of its own, alleging the Cupertino, Calif.-based company infringes on Samsung technology.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Samsung has filed suits against Apple in Japan, Korea and Germany. The move follows a suit by Apple last week accusing that Samsung’s phones and tablets infringe on Apple patents and trademarks.

Representatives of Apple and Samsung were not immediately available for comment.

The battle between Samsung and Apple is the latest in a series of disputes dividing the cellphone industry. Apple is also engaged in lawsuits with Nokia and HTC, while Microsoft and Motorola have ongoing disputes, as do Google and Oracle, among others.

Last Friday, Apple sued Samsung in U.S. federal court, alleging trademark and patent infringement as well as other claims. In the suit, Apple is seeking an injunction against Samsung as well as unspecified monetary damages. Apple’s lawsuit alleges everything from Samsung’s hardware and packaging to the icons on its screens are a duplication of Apple’s technology.

“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,” an Apple representative told Mobilized on Monday. “This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”

Samsung, meanwhile, said earlier this week that it would react aggressively to Apple’s action.

“Samsung’s development of core technologies and strengthening our intellectual property portfolio are keys to our continued success,” the company said in a statement to Mobilized. “Samsung will respond actively to this legal action taken against us through appropriate legal measures to protect our intellectual property.

The issue is complicated by the fact that Samsung is not only a rival in the phone and tablet markets, but also a key supplier to Apple. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple was Samsung’s second biggest customer last year, after Sony. And given Apple’s phenomenal growth of late, it’s reasonable to think Apple may have displaced Sony to become Samsung’s single biggest customer.