By Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer
SEOUL, South Korea -- Samsung on Saturday accused Apple (AAPL) of resorting to litigation in an effort to limit consumer choice after the iPhone maker said it was seeking to stop the sale of Galaxy S III smartphones in the United States.
Fresh from its $1 billion court victory over Samsung Electronics Co, Apple Inc., in a separate case, asked a federal district court in San Jose, California, on Friday to add four more products to a list of Samsung goods that Apple says infringe its patents.
The new list of 21 products includes Samsung's flagship smartphone Galaxy S III as well as the Galaxy Note, another popular Android phone. If the court finds those devices are infringing Apple's patents and irreparably harming the U.S. company, it could temporarily halt sales in the U.S. market even before the trial begins.The latest accusation is part of a larger, epic struggle over patents and innovation in one of the most lucrative consumer electronics sectors that is unfolding in 10 countries. > > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll The biggest stakes are in the U.S., the world's largest smartphone market in 2011. Last month, a jury in the San Jose court found that Samsung had copied Apple's design innovations and Samsung was ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion. Samsung has vowed to appeal the verdict, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. On Saturday, Samsung denounced Apple's attempt to halt sales of the S III, which hit the 10 million global sales mark in July, less than three months after its release. "Apple continues to resort to litigation over market competition in an effort to limit consumer choice," Samsung said in a statement. "We will continue to take the necessary legal measures to ensure the availability of our innovative products in the United States." The strong sales of the S III were crucial in driving Samsung's quarterly profit to a record high in the last quarter and helped it stay ahead in the worldwide smartphone market. In documents filed with San Jose federal district court on Friday, Apple said 21 Samsung smartphones, media players and tablets released after August 2011 were "copycat products."
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