Apple has taken a further swipe at Samsung by starting legal action in Japan in a bid to stop the rival tablet PC and smartphone maker selling its range of Galaxy devices in the country.

Apple claims the Galaxy smartphone and the Galaxy Tab range of tablet PCs infringe patents it holds for the iPad and the iPhone, and according to Reuters, which cited the Kyodo news agency as its source, is seeking to ban sales of the device along with 100 million yen (£811,000) in damages.

This isn't Apple's first attempt to get sales of the Galaxy devices banned across the globe. 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.

Furthermore, the Regional Court of Dusseldorf last week granted Apple an injunction that prevents the latest iteration of the tablet PC, the Galaxy Tab 7.7, being sold in Germany. As a result Samsung removed the device from display at the technology show IFA, which took place in Berlin this week.

In a separate case regarding sales in the Netherlands, a preliminary ban on sales of Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones as well tablet PCs will be imposed after October 13, as the court believes they too infringe Apple's patents.

Samsung, which has vowed to fight the legal action, has responded by suing Apple, claiming the tech giant has infringed patents it holds for wireless technology.