Apple has taken another shot at Samsung by seeking a preliminary injunction on sales of the Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the US.

In a lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Apple claims the handset infringes four of its patents that relate to touching a phone number on a web page to dial it, word placement, Siri (the voice recognition service introduced on the Apple iPhone 4S) and the unlock function that allows smartphone users to unlock the device by sliding an image from one place to another on the screen.

Apple claimed sales of the Galaxy Nexus during the lawsuit would "cause Apple to lose market share to Samsung that could support a finding of irreparable harm".

"The smartphone market is at a critical juncture, as the overwhelming majority of consumers move to smartphones, and the consumers' long-term preferences and purchases may be determined to a great extent by the operating system on their first smartphone."

Apple said this was "precisely why Samsung copies Apple's products and incorporates Apple's patented features, i.e., in order to lure crucial first-time purchasers away from Apple."

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was launched in October last year, and is the latest in Google’s range of branded smartphones. Running Google Android 4.0, the version of the mobile operating system that is also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus features a 4.65in super AMOLED display and a 1.2Ghz dual core processor. Users also benefit from a 5Mp camera with facial recognition and the ability to capture HD video at 1080p. It comes with either 16GB/ 32GB Internal memory

Samsung said in a statement: "We continue to assert our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple's claims to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business".

Patent expert Florian Mueller believes "Google cannot deny its undivided responsibility for any infringement findings”.

"I am absolutely certain that...for the preliminary injunction motion the Galaxy Nexus was singled out because it's so new, and important,” he said in a blog.

Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in legal action regarding patent infringements on both smartphones and tablet PCs. The fight between the pair has seen legal action launched in ten countries across the globe.