Apple (s aapl) has fired back against Samsung in the UK, where the Korean company originally filed suit against the iPhone maker back in June. The specific patents in the cases have yet to be identified, but Samsung claimed in its original complaint that Apple’s iPhone and other devices infringe on intellectual property owned by Samsung. In a new countersuit (via ZDNet UK), Apple argues that Samsung’s Android (s goog) tablets and smartphones actually copy aspects of its iPhone and iPad designs.
This latest action adds to the many ongoing suits between the two companies worldwide. Cases span the globe, active in courts in the U.S., Germany, Japan and Australia, to name a few. Recently, Samsung received a major blow when the preliminary injunction against its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet was upheld by a German court in Düsseldorf. Samsung will appeal that ruling to a higher court, which should take at least a couple of months to issue a decision.
Apple’s move to countersue is not unexpected, as it has been on the offensive in most other markets, and it was always likely to want to defend its intellectual property holdings in the UK, too. Samsung has countersued Apple in a number of cases, including in South Korea, Japan and Germany, but it actually withdrew its countersuit against the Cupertino-based company in California, citing a desire to “streamline” its legal proceedings.
This is bound to get messier before it gets better, and some have wondered whether it might extend to Samsung’s newly announced Windows 8 (s msft) tablet efforts. We’ll be sure to keep watching to let you know how this ongoing intellectual property drama between what are arguably the two most important mobile device makers in the world plays out.