Apple has bought its patents battle with Samsung to the UK by filing a lawsuit against the tech giant with a British court.

Samsung told ZDNet the legal action was a countersuit in retaliation to a case filed by Samsung against Apple in June this year. ZDNet said this bring the total number of lawsuits filed between the pair to 20.

Apple claims the Galaxy smartphone and the Galaxy Tab range of tablet PCs infringe patents it holds for the iPad and the iPhone. However, as the specific patents have not been identified, details of the suits remain unclear.

Last month, the Regional Court of Dusseldorf granted a temporary injunction to stop the sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe following Apple's same claim of copyright infringement.

"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. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," Apple said at the time.

The ban was subsequently lifted in all EU countries except Germany a week later, as the court was unsure whether it had the power to stop sales in the whole of the EU. And last week the same court upheld the preliminary injunction, which means Samsung is still unable to sell the device in Germany.

"We believe that by imposing an injunction based on this very generic design right, this ruling restricts design innovation and progress in the industry," Samsung said at the time.

"Samsung will actively and immediately appeal this ruling in order to ensure that consumer choice in Germany is restored."