Dyson launches legal action against Samsung
James Dyson with one of the components for the company's machines. Photo: Supplied
British manufacturer Dyson has taken legal action against Samsung to protect against what it claims is a "cynical rip off" of patented technology.
Dyson said in a statement it had issued proceedings in the English High Court against Samsung Electronics, a subsidiary of the Korean conglomerate, relating to the steering mechanism used by the Samsung Motion Sync vacuum cleaner.
"This looks like a cynical rip off by the giant Korean company Samsung," company founder James Dyson said.
"Although they are copying Dyson's patented technology, their machine is not the same. 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 said in the statement that the Motion Sync range appeared to copy its steering mechanism which had been the result of three years' research and development. Dyson said its DC37 and DC39 machines were the world's first cylinder vacuums to use a ball steering mechanism.
Samsung said the Motion Sync was the product of its own extensive research and development, and rejected the accusation.
"We will take all necessary measures, including legal action, to protect our technological innovation against Dyson's groundless claims," Samsung said in a statement.
Dyson said it invests heavily in research and development and must protect its patents aggressively.
The company said long term investment in digital motors and new cordless vacuum technology fuelled sales and pushed turnover to £1.2 billion ($2.1 billion) in 2012. Profits were up 19 per cent to £364 million ($630 million). Now Dyson is increasing its engineering headcount by 45 per cent, or 650 new engineers.
"We are growing because of continuing robust investment in research and development. We have been developing Dyson digital motors in Malmesbury for 15 years and we are now harnessing them to make smaller, more efficient machines. It is powerful technology which sits at the heart of our 25 year pipeline of invention for Dyson," Dyson said.