Samsung calls for US ban on Apple over patent row

Apple should be banned from selling iPhones, iPads and iPods in the US, according to a technology rival which claims the manufacturer is infringing its patents.

The demand for an import ban was lodged yesterday with the US International Trade Commissioner by Samsung, the South Korean maker of phones and tablet computers, in what is an increasingly expensive and bitter legal battle between the two groups.

Apple sued Samsung for patent infringement in April over its Galaxy line of touchscreen smartphones and tablets, saying they "slavishly" copy the iPhone and iPad, but Samsung is countersuing. In its request to the US Trade Commission, an independent federal body, the Korean firm said that Apple's devices infringe five of its patents on user interface technology and telecoms standards. It said it had begun legal action against Apple in other countries, including Italy and the UK.

Samsung may have been emboldened to extend its legal battle by an agreement signed last week between Apple and the phone-maker Nokia, in which Apple agreed to pay the Finnish firm undisclosed royalties on the sale of iPhones and other devices.