20111005 samsung
Pedestrians walk past a logo of Samsung Electronics at its main building in Seoul on July 29, 2011. The company is partnering with Barnes & Noble to create a new Nook tablet. - 

Jeremy Hobson: Apple and Samsung are locked in legal battles in at least 9 different countries.
Apple claims Samsung's products are too similar to the iPhone and iPad, and that they violate Apple's Patents. Samsung sues back -- saying Apple is the copycat.

Well today, an Australian court handed Apple a win, and banned Samsung from selling its new Galaxy tablet down under. Marketplace's Jennifer Collins has the story.

Jennifer Collins: Full disclosure: I have a Samsung smartphone, and sometimes people mistake it for an iPhone.

Florian Mueller is an intellectual property analyst based in Germany. He has a Samsung phone too.

Florian Mueller: If you look at the way they arrange the icons, the way most of those icons look, they've certainly made an effort to make that device resemble the iPhone to the greatest extent possible.

Mueller says iPhones contain a lot of components made by Samsung, yet there are more than 20 patent lawsuits between them. So why would Apple go after its supplier? And why would Samsung fight back?

U.C.L.A. law professor Doug Lichtman says it's kind of like the nuclear arms race.

Doug Lichtman: I've got a lot of nukes, you've got a lot of nukes. The way we ultimately get peace is mutual-assured destruction.

Lichtman says its likely Samsung will pay Apple a licensing fee and be forced to stop producing lookalike products.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.