Samsung sued for 'ripping off' Dyson vacuum design

British manufacturer Dyson is suing the South Korean electronic giant for infringement

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 10 Sep 2013
Samsung’s legal team must be pretty sick of defending the electronic giant over patent infringements. Hardly a week goes by when the Korean firm isn’t locking horns with Apple over patents and now Britain’s vacuum king has a beef with Samsung over one of its vacuum cleaners.
 
James Dyson has accused Samsung of ‘ripping off’ the steering system on his latest vacuum cleaners. His eponymous vacuum empire is suing Samsung for using technology in its Motion Sync vacuum, which it claims is patented to Dyson and used in its DC37 and DC39 cleaners.
 
‘This looks like a cynical rip-off,’ said Sir James Dyson.
 
‘Samsung has many patent lawyers so I find it hard not to believe that this is a deliberate or utterly reckless infringement of our patent.’
 
Samsung has rubbished his claims and vowed to fight back.
 
‘We will take all necessary measures, including legal actions, to protect our technological innovation against Dyson's groundless claims,’ said a spokeswoman.
 
James Dyson, however is pretty sure he smells infringement and has launched legal action.
 
‘We have been forced to issue proceedings in the English High Court, but I would much rather invest in research to develop new technology than have to sue,’ he said.
 
Dyson reportedly filed for the steering patent back in 2009. It allows the device to follow the user more fluidly, spinning quickly from one direction to another, stopping it from getting stuck in corners. (We’re all familiar with that old chestnut.) Apparently this steering technology took the boffins at Dyson three years to develop.
 
Samsung’s Motion Sync claims to ‘make swift motion for sudden turns much easier.’ The Korean company said the mechanics for this came out of its own extensive research.
 
It’s not the first time Samsung has stepped on Dyson’s toes. In February 2009 Samsung was ordered to pay Dyson £600,000 after it tried to patent ‘triple-cyclone’ suction – technology already patented by the British manufacturer.
 
Sir James Dyson is practically the white knight of UK patents. He has around 3,000 patents protecting his technology and once threatened the Chinese government with being thrown out of the World Trade Organisation over copyright breeches.  He’s certainly no pushover, whether he can suck up compensation from Samsung again remains to be seen.


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