Samsung Seeks iPhone 4S Ban in France and Italy

Declares “all-out war” over patent dispute

South Korean electronics company Samsung will attempt to block sales of the new iPhone 4S in France and Italy, saying that the new Apple product infringes Samsung patents. The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Apple unveiled its new phone, and is part of a larger patent war between the two companies.

The AFP quotes an unnamed Samsung spokesman who says the company is "virtually going into an all-out war" with Apple over copyright infringements. "Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free-ride on our technology,” Samsung added in a statement. “We will steadfastly protect our intellectual property."

Samsung chose the two countries because they are "key markets" in Europe, according to The Wall Street Journal. “The local legal system and processes" also apparently influenced the decision.

Samsung, which makes Galaxy smartphones, is a major supplier of chips and displays for Apple. But the companies have been in legal conflict since April this year, after Apple claimed Samsung tablets and smartphones copy Apple products. Samsung responded with a counterclaim that Apple has violated patents on wireless technology.

Apple unveiled the new iPhone 4S yesterday, a refreshed version of the iPhone 4. But the new product received a lukewarm reception from investors, as reported in Adweek