Samsung seeks US import ban on Apple products

South Korea's Samsung Electronics said Thursday it had asked the US International Trade Commission to ban the import of Apple products into the United States, expanding its patent war with the US giant.

The ITC has been urged to stop Apple shipping its popular iPods, iPhones and iPads into the US market from where they are manufactured, a Samsung spokesman said.

It accuses Apple of breaching five patents related to wireless communications standards and mobile device user interface.

"The complaint requests relief in the form of a permanent exclusion order prohibiting entry to the United States of all Apple products in violation of these patents," Samsung said in a statement.

"Samsung will continue to actively defend our intellectual property in order to serve our customers and to ensure our continued innovation and leadership in the mobile communication business."

The latest action escalated legal wrangling between the world's two fastest growing smartphone makers.

The tussle began when Apple filed suit against Samsung in April in San Francisco, accusing the Korean firm of copying its smartphones and tablet computers.

Samsung responded later that month with a lawsuit in Seoul alleging five patent infringements by Apple. It filed separate actions in Tokyo, citing two patent infringements, and in the German city of Mannheim citing three.

Last week Apple lodged a second lawsuit against Samsung with a district court in Seoul, asking for a sales ban on Samsung's latest products. It accused them of copying the iPhone and iPad.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab has been a huge-selling rival to the iPad, which has dominated the growing market for the touchscreen devices.

Despite their prickly competition in finished products, the two firms have a close business relationship.

Apple was Samsung's second-largest client in 2010 after Japan's Sony, accounting for four percent of the South Korean firm's 155 trillion won ($142 billion) annual revenue.

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