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Samsung Seeks to Block iPhone Sales in Europe

Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S, left, and Apple's iPhone 4 are displayed, (File)

Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S, left, and Apple's iPhone 4 are displayed, (File)

South Korean technology giant Samsung is threatening legal action to prevent U.S.-based rival Apple from selling its latest iPhone in France and Italy.

In a statement Wednesday, the company says it will file preliminary injunctions in the two countries, accusing Apple of infringing its patents on wireless communications technology.

Samsung says Apple has continued to "free-ride on our technology," and vows to "steadfastly protect" its intellectual property.

Apple introduced the latest version of its popular smartphone, the iPhone 4S, at its California headquarters on Tuesday.

The upgraded phone will be released on October 14 in the U.S, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Britain.

Samsung and Apple are engaged in an ongoing legal scuffle, with each company accusing the other of infringing its copyrights in dozens of countries.

Apple has accused Samsung of copying the designs of the iPhone and iPad, while Samsung has sued its U.S. rival over its technology. A court in Germany issued an injunction halting sales of Samsung's tablet computers last month.

Samsung's line of smartphones and tablet computers have grown in popularity in recent years, providing strong competition to Apple's iPhone and iPad.

Despite the legal battles, the firms have a close business relationship. Apple was Samsung's second-largest client last year, mainly purchasing semi-conductors.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.