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Samsung countersues Dyson over vacuum copycat claims (update)

Matt Brian, @m4tt
February 17, 2014
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Dyson's decision to sue Samsung over claims it copied its vacuum design looks like it's really starting to suck. Less than six months after it took action against the Korean company for allegedly infringing its patents, which it later dropped, Dyson now finds itself on the receiving end of a multi-million dollar countersuit. The Korea Times reports that Samsung isn't looking to prove the validity of its designs. Instead it's focusing on the resulting legal fallout: The company claims last year's litigation "hurt [its] corporate image" by labeling it as a serial copycat, so it's seeking 10 billion won ($9.43 million) compensation because it "negatively affected" Samsung as a brand. Dyson pulled its original claim after it found examples of prior art, allowing Samsung to take its stand against "patent trolls that use litigations as a marketing tool," and warn off other companies looking to take similar action. Strong words indeed, Dyson certainly won't want to let the dust settle on this case.

Update: Dyson has issued a statement on the matter, its response is included below:

"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."

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