The rivalry between Apple and Samsung is about to get uglier.
According to a recent Associated Press report, Samsung has requested that a Dutch court slap an injunction on Apple Inc. to prevent it from selling iPhones and iPad tablets in the Netherlands, saying Apple does not have licenses to use 3G mobile technology in the devices.
The legal battle is the latest round in a series of claims and counterclaims of patent breaches by the rival technology heavyweights playing out in courtrooms around the world.
Samsung Electronics Co. lawyer Bas Berghuis told a civil judge at The Hague District Court that Apple "never bothered to ask about licenses" before it started selling 3G-enabled iPhones.
Apple lawyer Rutger Kleemans hit back by accusing Samsung of using the patent dispute to "hold Apple hostage" because of Apple's legal battles accusing Samsung of copying its iPhone and iPad designs.
"It's a holdup," Kleemans said. "Because Apple dared to take action against Samsung's copycat tactics."
Kleemans urged the court to reject the injunction request, saying the patents involved "are not designed to be used as a weapon against Apple."
Some have claimed that this latest move by Samsung is retaliation for a recent court ruling that blocked them from selling tablets in Germany. The AP reports:
Earlier this month, a court in Duesseldorf, Germany, ruled that Samsung cannot sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany because its design too closely resembled the iPad2. The ruling only applied to direct sales from the Samsung, meaning distributors who acquire the Tab 10.1 from abroad could resell them in Germany. Samsung said it would appeal that judgment.
Other court battles are taking place in the U.S., South Korea and Australia.
A Samsung executive told The Associated Press last week in Seoul that the South Korean company would be taking a bolder stance in battling Apple in courts.
"We'll be pursuing our rights for this in a more aggressive way from now on," said Lee Younghee, head of global marketing for mobile communications.
Lee said that Samsung holds numerous patents covering wireless telecommunications technology.
"We believe Apple is free riding" on such Samsung patents, Lee said.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)