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Samsung Electronics Co. filed suits against Apple Inc. in Japan and Australia to stop sales of iPhone 4S, adding to similar complaints in France and Italy.

Injunctions against the sale of iPad2 and the previous generation iPhone 4 in Japan were also sought, the Suwon, South Korea-based company, said in a statement Monday. Samsung cited one telecommunications and three user-interface patents in the Japan case, and three covering wireless communications technologies for the Australia suit.

Monday’s filing escalates the legal battle between the world’s two biggest makers of smartphones and tablet computers.

An Australian court last week ruled to block the sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, while the South Korean technology company filed motions in Europe to prevent sales of Apple’s latest handset.

“The legal battle is lasting longer and is more extensive than originally expected,” James Song, a Seoul-based analyst at Daewoo Securities Co., said by phone. “This kind of legal saga isn’t good for both companies given their business relationship. The parties will eventually seek to resolve the issue.”

“Apple has continued to violate our patent rights and free ride on our technology,” Samsung said in the statement. “We will no longer stand idly by and will steadfastly protect our intellectual property.”

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, in April alleged Samsung’s Galaxy devices “slavishly” copied the iPad and iPhone. Apple is also one of the biggest buyers of chips and displays from Samsung.

“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging,” Steve Park, a Seoul-based spokesman for Apple, said by phone, responding to the court filing.

Samsung earlier this month filed motions in Paris and Milan, citing two patent infringements on wireless telecommunications technology, aiming to prevent the sale of the iPhone 4S.

The company has filed an appeal against Thursday’s Australian court ruling to grant a preliminary injunction against the sale of its Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung said in Monday’s statement.

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