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Samsung is escalating its legal tussle with Apple with an ITC complaint aimed at barring the iPhone, iPad and iPod from being imported and sold in the U.S. The move comes about two months after Apple sued Samsung for copying the look and feel of its iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy S line of smartphones and tablets, to which the latter responded with a countersuit that alleges Apple is infringing on five patents relating to wireless networking technology.
The Korean manufacturer is hoping the U.S. International Trade Commission steps into the ongoing battle, requesting the government agency to open an investigation on Apple regarding "certain mobile electronic devices, including wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, and tablet computers."
The ITC first hasn't yet agreed to look into Samsung's allegations, but if the complaint moves forward, the entire matter could still take 15 to 18 months to complete before a ban can be enacted -- or discarded, for that matter. In the meantime, Samsung is not putting its guard down in court. The company has filed a new patent lawsuit against Apple in a Delaware federal court, in addition to the ones in Seoul, Tokyo, San Francisco and Mannheim, Germany.
Despite the legal claims and counter claims, the two companies remain dependent on each other. Apple bought nearly $6 billion worth of Samsung components for its iPhone, iPad and iPod products last year, and according to COO Tim Cook's recent comments, this patent dispute should not affect their ongoing business relationship. That said, there are already rumors that Apple plans to move A6 SoC production away from Samsung in 2012, favoring TSMC instead.
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