Apple seeks Samsung Galaxy S3 temporary sales ban in US

Samsung Galaxy S3 Samsung says it still expects to launch the Galaxy S3 in the US on 21 June

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Apple has sought to disrupt the US launch of Samsung Electronic's flagship smartphone by asking a court to ban the product from sale temporarily.

The iPhone-maker claimed the Galaxy S3 infringed at least two of its patents based on its analysis of a model bought in the UK.

Samsung denied the accusation, saying the launch would proceed as planned.

The two firms have been embroiled in dozens of patent and design disputes over the past year.

A judge ordered the chief executives of both to meet in San Francisco and discuss settling their legal differences last month, but the talks did not lead to a settlement.

Since the meeting, Apple has also sought to ban sales of one of Samsung's tablet computers.

'Phenomenal sales'

The latest case centres on two Apple patents: a unified search interface allowing users to scan a wide range of file types and sources; and a way to identify patterns in data and then carry out appropriate actions.

In a court filing, the iPhone-maker acknowledged there was huge demand for Samsung's new phone, but said the South Korean firm had failed to address a complaint it had already made about one of its earlier Android-based models.

"The Galaxy S3 will... irreparably harm Apple for the same reasons as the Galaxy Nexus, but on a much greater scale," wrote Apple's lawyer, Mark Lyon.

"The central premise of Samsung's opposition to Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction was that the Galaxy Nexus had not sold sufficiently well to cause severe enough harm to Apple. While that argument is legally and factually untenable, it is entire inapplicable with respect to the Galaxy S3, which reportedly will sell phenomenally well immediately upon launch."

Apple requested its existing complaint against the Nexus to be amended to include the Galaxy S3. Samsung continues to defend the earlier case and also opposes Apple's attempt to link the motions together.

A statement from the Galaxy-maker said: "Samsung believes Apple's request is without merit. We will vigorously oppose the request and demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S3 is innovative and distinctive... We believe that Apple's actions would only serve to disrupt consumers' access to the latest innovative mobile technology."

The Galaxy S3 went on sale in Europe last month. Sales numbers have not been released, but Vodafone has said that the handset broke its UK record for pre-orders of an Android device.

The device is due to be released in the US on 21 June.

Apple is expected to launch its next iPhone model later this year.

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