Apple vs. Samsung: Is it Love or War?

Samsung said Thursday it will continue to oppose Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) request for a court to ban sales of its new Galaxy smartphone, and plans to go ahead with the device’s scheduled U.S. release on June 21.

Locked in an intellectual property battle with Apple, which asked a U.S. district court to temporarily ban sales of the Galaxy S III before its launch, Samsung said it will “demonstrate to the court that the Galaxy S III is innovative and distinctive.” Apple accused Samsung of infringing two of its patents.

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If Apple’s request is accepted by the U.S. District Court for Northern California, sales of the new smartphone could be pushed back long enough for Apple to get a headstart on sales of its next-generation iPhone, which is expected in September or October.

The Galaxy S III went on sale in Europe on May 29, and will be offered by around 300 mobile carriers in Asia and North America by the end of the month. By launching its smartphone ahead of Apple’s next iPhone refresh, Samsung is carving out a larger piece of the lucrative smartphone market. But some analysts think Apple could release the new iPhone as early as July. Afterall, next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference would be the perfect platform to introduce the new smartphone.

Samsung has become Apple’s biggest threat in the mobile market. This year, Samsung clawed its way past Apple to become the number one smartphone maker in the world, selling 38 million smartphones globally during the first quarter. Samsung’s Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android handsets claimed over 40 percent of global Android shipments in the quarter.

Apple first accused Samsung of copying its iPhone in April 2011, and the companies have since been embroiled in bitter patent lawsuits in North America, Europe, and Asia. Chief executives of the two companies met in San Francisco last month after a court instructed them to negotiate, but the talks were fruitless.

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Still, despite their legal battle, the two companies continue to do business with each other. Apple is one of Samsung’s largest buyers of chips and display screens, and relies on Samsung for various other mobile components.