Samsung Asks Courts in Australia, Japan to Block iPhone 4S Sales

Samsung has filed for injunctions in Australia and Japan in hopes of blocking sales of Apple’s new iPhone 4S in those countries. The two companies are fighting patent infringement battles in several countries, and Apple has already managed to get injunctions against some of Samsung’s Android-based products in a few regions.

The motions were both filed on Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal, and Samsung is also asking the court in Japan to block sales of the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

Samsung wants to block the iPhone 4S in Australia and JapanSamsung hopes to block iPhone 4S sales in Australia and Japan

Apple and Samsung have been locked in a legal battle over patent infringement claims for several months. Both companies have alleged that the other’s mobile devices use patented technologies without proper licensing, and have filed lawsuits against each other in the U.S. and other countries.

A German court recently upheld an injunction blocking the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country, and the company filed an appeal in hopes of overturning that ruling. Apple was also awarded a temporary injunction through a Dutch court blocking the sale of some Galaxy devices in the European Union, and an injunction blocking the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia.

Despite Samsung’s efforts, its motion for an injunction in Australia may not hold up in court, according to Florian Mueller from Foss Patents.

“I believe Samsung’s attack on the iPhone 4S in Australia is doomed to fail because it relates to three patents declared essential to the 3G telecommunications standard,” he said on his blog. “On Friday, a Dutch judge already made it clear that Samsung can’t seek an injunction based on such patents, and I’d be extremely surprised if an Australian judge took a different perspective on FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing commitments.”

Samsung’s position in Japan, however, doesn’t look to be quite so clear cut. “The situation is less clear in Japan, where Samsung is using one standards-related patent but also three user interface patents,” he said. “Those user interface patents are presumably not subject to FRAND licensing commitments, in which case Samsung would be allowed to seek injunctions based on them and it would all depend on whether those patents will be upheld (since Apple will be sure to contest their validity) and actually infringed.”

Samsung’s filing came as Apple announced it had sold over 4 million iPhone 4S units during the first weekend of availability. The number tops Apple’s previous iPhone launch weekend record of 1.7 million units for the iPhone 4.

Apple has not commented on Samsung’s injunction filings.