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iphone-4s-blockedSamsung plans to file patent infringement claims against Apple’s new iPhone 4S and stop it from being sold in France and Italy, the company said today. The move shows Samsung is willing to fight back hard against Apple’s lawsuits.

“The infringed technology is essential to the reliable functioning of telecom networks and devices and Samsung believes that Apple’s violation [is] too severe and that the iPhone 4S should be barred from sales,” Samsung said in a statement.

The announcement comes just a day after Apple most likely killed the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. Apple sued to block the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on grounds that it violated Apple’s patents and has rejected settlement offers with Samsung in hopes of blocking the Tab 10.1’s Australian launch altogether.

Apple and Samsung have been fighting in courts around the world since April, when Apple sued Samsung in the U.S. for “slavishly” copying the designs of the iPhone and iPad. Samsung filed a counter-suit against Apple in the U.S. that did not do much, but the battle also extended to the U.S. International Trade Commission, which can block the importation of devices into the U.S.

Samsung said it also plans to try to block the sale of the iPhone 4S on patent grounds in countries besides Italy and France, but we don’t know where else at this point.

Apple just launched the new Apple 4S, an upgrade of its popular iPhone 4 smartphone, yesterday. Apple expects the 4S to be a true successor to the iPhone 4. But if Samsung can find ways to block the sale of the device through courts, as Apple has done to Samsung, Apple may not be able to sell the 4S at the same clip it expects to.

What do you think about the squabbles between Samsung and Apple?

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