Apple has filed a lawsuit against Samsung, alleging that the consumer electronics giant has violated Apple’s intellectual property in the design of its mobile devices.

The suit, which was filed last week Friday and picked up on by The Wall Street Journal, takes aim specifically at the Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets, as well as other Samsung smartphones, for “copying” Apple’s user interface and design features. In it, Apple–the maker of the trend-setting iPhone and iPad–claims Samsung is infringing on its patents and is practicing unfair competition.

This relates to the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the iPhone 3G / 3GS models, and the slightly less obvious Epic 4G, Nexus S, and Galaxy Tab (presumably the older 7-inch model, since the newer ones aren’t out yet) devices. The claim for intellectual property infringement is phrased as follows:

“Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products.”

Filed in the US District Court in Northern California, the suit alleges patent and trademark infringement, as well as unfair competition. It seeks a finding that the alleged infringement was wilful in addition to injunctions, actual damages and punitive damages. Samsung, which is also a supplier of chips to Apple for the iPhone and iPad, said that it would fight the actions. All the devices concerned run Google’s rival Android operating system

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