Samsung has called out Dyson as a “patent troll” and accused it of damaging its reputation with a legal case that is aiming to recover some 10 billion won [£5.6 million].
The South Korean firm claims legal action that stated it had copied one of the British firm’s vacuum cleaners caused it harm and it’s a move that is apparently motivated by Samsung trying to stop Dyson taking such action again.
"Samsung's marketing activities were negatively affected by Dyson's groundless litigation, which is intolerable,” stated a Samsung spokesperson according to the Korea Times.
Another executive told the same publication that it is “going to take a hard-line stance against patent trolls that use litigations as a marketing tool”.
The counter case launched by Samsung follows a little reported legal case launched back in August that accused it of infringing Dyson’s patented steering mechanism on its new MotoSync range of vacuum cleaners. Samsung lawyers eventually issued prior art work that it stated belonged to the company and Dyson then withdrew the action.
"Dyson pioneered cyclonic vacuum cleaners and digital motors -- and has been developing them ever since. We patent our technology, and naturally defend it. It is surprising that a company over 100 times bigger than Dyson is so worried. The patent system offers us some protection but not enough: with an army of lawyers, hidden prior art is occasionally found and ways to design around existing patents identified." Dyson told Wired when asked about the legal challenge.
This is by no means the first time that Samsung has been accused of copying fundamental parts of another company’s devices with a court case brought by Apple rolling on for years. There will be a trial in the coming months linked to an auto-correct text patent and Apple will be confident of winning after the previous two trials were decided in its favour.