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Apple seeks US ban on Samsung Galaxy S3

SAMSUNG will fight Apple's attempt to ban the Galaxy S3 mobile phone from being sold in the US.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 was launched in Britain at the end of last month but Apple is seeking an injunction against its sale in the US. The iPhone-maker claims that the S3 breaches two of its patents and says the handset is "not more than colorably different from the Galaxy Nexus", which has been the target of past disputes.

Apple filed its motion earlier this week. Samsung said it believed Apple's request to be "without merit". The company said in a statement: "We will vigorously oppose the request and demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S3 is innovative and distinctive."

The patents in question relate to unified search and a system for recognising and performing actions on structured data. Apple says it is still trying to determine whether the S3 also breaches two other patents.

The Galaxy S3 is due to launch in the US on June 21. Samsung said: "We would like to assure customers that the US launch and sales of the Galaxy S3 will proceed as planned."

The dispute is the latest in a long round of lawsuits and counter-lawsuits between the two companies.

Apple alleges that Samsung’s Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets are “slavish” copies of the iPhone and iPad designs, and has sought injuntions to ban them from sale. The Korean firm, now the world’s biggest manufacturer of smartphones, has retaliated by claiming Apple has infringed its 3G technology.

Last year, Samsung released a tweaked version of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer following legal action from Apple.

"We modified the model to reflect Apple's claims," a Samsung spokesman said at the time.