At the IFA show last week Samsung revealed a brand new bagless vacuum cleaner, the Motion Sync device. It uses clever technology to swivel on the spot more easily, and to follow the user’s movements around the house so it doesn’t get stuck. The problem is that this technology is already on the market in a vacuum cleaner made by Dyson, which invented and patented the bagless design in the first place. To protect its IP, Dyson has now taken Samsung to court in the U.K.
The BBC reports that founder Sir James Dyson said the new cleaner looks like a “cynical rip-off” and that his company would prefer to spend the money on innovating instead of lawsuits. But it first applied for its steering patent in 2009, and Dyson said that “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 frequently been accused of flagrant copying of other companies’ advances and designs. The highest profile case is the potentially billon-dollar suit brought by Apple, which won a ruling that Samsung abused its IP in Galaxy-branded smartphones that copied the iPhone. Samsung was recently subject to an E.U. ruling that demanded the company be more honest with its own FRAND patents to end an ongoing antitrust case.