British manufacturer Dyson is suing Samsung for engineering patent infringement in a UK High Court, claiming Samsung’s new range of vacuum cleaners uses steering mechanism technology for cylinder cleaners which was copyrighted by Dyson.
“This looks like a cynical rip off by the giant Korean company Samsung. Although they are copying Dyson’s patented technology, their machine is not the same,” Sir James Dyson said of Samsung’s Motion Sync.
Samsung is accused of copying the steering mechanism used in Dyson’s DC cylinder models and embedding a similar component in the Motion Sync – a bagless vacuum cleaner with an independent steering mechanism that the company exhibited at IFA in Berlin last week.
Dyson’s DC models pivot on a ball in the centre of the machine, instead of resting on two wheels at each side as most vacuum cleaners do. The company reportedly spent three years developing the new design, which had not been seen in the market before its launch.
Dyson pointed out that he would much rather invest in research to develop new technology than have to sue, but it appears the ‘reckless’ patent infringement is a step too far.
“If you drop patents, no-one will develop anything anymore. Nobody will spend a lot of money on long-term research to make new technology work because they’ll just be copied instantly,” continued Sir Dyson.
“The Samsung Motion Sync is an outcome of our own extensive research and development,” was the official response from Samsung.
“We will take all necessary measures, including legal actions, to protect our technological innovation against Dyson’s groundless claims,” the company continued.
The issue of patents is a concern for Dyson, having obtained his first US patent in 1986. He recently called on the UK government to simplify the patent system so small businesses can afford to protect their designs.
“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,” Sir Dyson said.
Samsung has been involved in numerous patent disputes in recent years, most notably the ongoing legal battle with Apple over the design of the iPhone and its graphical interface.