Samsung Countersues Apple in Australia



SEOUL—Samsung Electronics Co. widened a sprawling global patent dispute with Apple Inc. by filing a countersuit in Australia, while also appealing a key ruling in Germany.

The South Korean company said Saturday it has filed a lawsuit in Australia alleging Apple's iPhone smartphones and iPad2 tablet computer violate a number of wireless-technology patents held by Samsung.

This followed a pattern set in other countries, where Samsung has launched legal action against Apple over technology patents after being sued by the U.S. company for allegedly copying the design of Apple's smartphones and tablets.

"To defend our intellectual property, Samsung filed a cross claim for Apple's violation of Samsung's wireless technology patents," Samsung Electronics spokesman Nam Ki-yung said.

Steve Park, a spokesman for Apple in South Korea, declined to comment.

The counter claim comes ahead of a ruling later this month on whether Samsung will be prevented from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 computer in Australia. Apple took Samsung to court in Sydney earlier this year, claiming the South Korean tablet computer breaches patents related to the iPad.

Other countries where Samsung and Apple are fighting court battles include the U.S., South Korea, France and Japan. In Germany Friday, Samsung appealed a ruling that prevents the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 there, the Samsung spokesman said. The ruling, delivered earlier this month by a court in Düsseldorf, upheld a preliminary injunction against sale of the tablet computer by Samsung's German unit.

Many analysts think the companies will ultimately resolve the battle by reaching a licensing deal, though neither has indicated as such.

Even as Samsung competes with Apple, the South Korean company relies heavily on Apple as one of the biggest customers for chips and liquid-crystal displays.