IP sucks

dysonBritish manufacturer Dyson – known for its transparent vacuum cleaner – is suing Samsung for ripping off one of its inventions.

The IP quarrel centres over the launch of the Motion Sync vacuum cleaner that Samsung showed off at the IFA tech show in Berlin this month.

Dyson alleges that the machine infringes its patent on a steering mechanism for cylinder cleaners. Samsung, of course, has rejected its rival’s accusation.

“This looks like a cynical rip-off,” said founder 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.”, Dyson continues.

Dyson first filed a patent for its steering mechanism in 2009. It describes a way to allow the device to spin quickly from one direction to another on the spot, and to follow the user’s path rather than just being dragged behind, in order to prevent the vacuum getting snagged on corners. Dyson claims the system took three years to develop and has since been used in two of its models.

Samsung’s marketing materials for its new vacuum cleaner specifically highlight the “revolutionary” design of its swivel body machine saying it makes swift motion for sudden turns much easier. “The Samsung Motion Sync is an outcome of our own extensive research and development,” Samsung claims.

This is not the first time the two firms have clashed in the UK courts. In February 2009 a judge ordered Samsung to pay about £600,000 of Dyson’s legal costs after the UK firm challenged its rival’s attempt to patent a suction technology already used in its “triple-cyclone” cleaners.

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