Steve Jobs-led Apple filed the lawsuit in US District Court of Northern California.
In the 38-page lawsuit Apple said Samsung "slavishly" copied the look, product design, packaging and user interface of its products in violation of its patents and trademarks.
"Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products," Apple said in the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, Apple compared its iPhone 3GS, launched in June, 2009 with Galaxy's S i9000 model, released in March, 2010.
Comparing photos and images, Apple pointed out similarities in the two companies' packaging and icons for applications such as texting, music, phone and contacts.
"This kind of blatant copying is wrong," the Wall Street Journal quoted Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet as saying.
A Samsung spokesperson said: "Samsung's development of core technologies and strengthening
our intellectual property portfolio are keys to our continued success."
Research firm IDC estimated that the smartphone market will grow more than 49 per cent in 2011 from 303.4 million units last year.
Apple is expected to dominate the tablet market through 2015. Apple had launched the iPad last year and the iPad 2 in March this year.
The company has sold over 108 million iPhones and 19 million iPads, as well as more than 60 million digital music players iPod Touch.
However with companies like Motorola, RIM and Dell launching tablets, Apple is facing stiff competition and challenges to remain the tablet and smartphone market leader.
Samsung's microchips are used in some Apple products.
It makes memory chips that are used in the MacBook Pro computer line.
Samsung's Galaxy S smartphone is fast becoming a popular device in globally, shipping 10 million units as of January.
The Galaxy Tab device is being touted as the strongest rival to the iPad.
The Wall Street Journal report quoted Edward Snyder, an analyst for Charter Equity Research, as saying that the lawsuit is "another arrow in their (Apple's) quiver to slow down their closest competitor.
Snyder added that Apple is only starting to sue companies since competition has heated up.