The iPhone 5 hasn't even been announced yet, and already Samsung is planning to ban its sale in South Korea, a new report claims.
According to the Korea Times, citing sources with knowledge of the matter, Samsung will file suit against Apple for violating its patents related to wireless communications as soon as possible after the Cupertino, Calif.-based company launches its follow-up to the iPhone 4. In that lawsuit, the Korea Times' sources say, Samsung will request the court ban all sales of the device.
"For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents," a Samsung source reportedly told Korea Times. "We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights."
The Korea Times report is just the latest entry in the ongoing legal saga between Apple and Samsung. Over the last several months, the companies have ramped up their bitter patent battle, taking it all over the world. As of this writing, the companies are battling it out in the U.S., Australia, across Europe, and in parts of Asia.
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So far, Apple has gotten the better of Samsung. In Australia, the iPhone maker was able to get Samsung to agree to show it three Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet designs before it sells the single version that Apple allows. Earlier this month, Apple successfully stopped the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany, following an earlier, overturned ruling by a German court that temporarily banned the sale of Samung's tablet across the EU.
But it's not just tablets. Both companies claim that the other's smartphones violate their patents, as well. And so far, neither side has budged.
Apple has been especially critical of Samsung over the last several months. In South Korea, Apple filed a complaint against Samsung, saying that its products have been copied.
"[Samsung's] products...blatantly imitate the appearance of Apple's products to capitalize on Apple's success," Apple said in its complaint in June. "The copying has been widely observed in the industry and has been mentioned in multiple articles reviewing Samsung products."
For its part, Samsung has left most of the talking for the courtroom, deciding instead to say publicly that it will "continue to actively defend and protect our intellectual property."
This time around, Samsung has not immediately responded to a CNET request for comment on its lawsuit plans against the iPhone 5. Apple has also not immediately responded to CNET's request for comment.
That said, there's no telling what either side can say. Apple has so far remained tight-lipped on the iPhone 5 and hasn't even acknowledged that the device will launch anytime soon. What's more, the rumor mill can't even keep it straight: some reports suggest the device will launch this month, while others say it won't happen until October.