Dyson sues Samsung for ripping off its cylinder vacuum design

samsung countersues dyson for 9 4m motion sync vacuum cleaner
Samsung's Motion Sync vacuum cleaner, which Dyson alleged stole its company's design.

Those who are still into manual vacuum cleaning despite the Roomba era know that a Dyson is one of the best machines money can buy. Just as we’ve said before with our Hot+Cool Fan Heater review, high-end Dyson is to home appliances as Apple and Bang & Olufsen are to mobile gadgets and home theater. But just when you think Dyson’s got no real rivalry, Samsung has gone and unveiled a new high end vacuum cleaner that uses a strangely familiar cylinder mechanical system. Unsurprisingly, Dyson does not find this competition amusing.

Dubbed the Motion Sync vacuum cleaner, Samsung’s latest device which debuted at IFA 2013 is now the subject of a new lawsuit brought on by Dyson. Sir James Dyson, the company’s founder, claims that the Samsung design is a “cynical rip-off,” and that it unlikely that Samsung didn’t notice the blatant similarities with Dyson vacuums’ unique engineering.

Samsung motion sync cycle force“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 a press release. “We have been forced to issue proceedings in the English High Court, but I would much rather invest in research to develop new technology than have to sue.”

The alleged Samsung infringement, which focuses mostly on the machine’s ability to swiftly spin and turn thanks to the device’s circular body, is a design Dyson has patented since 2009. According to Dyson, this system took three years to develop and has been implemented in at least two of its vacuum cleaners models.

Take a quick look at Samsung’s press material for the Motion Sync cleaner and it’s easy to see why Dyson would cry foul. From the suction attachments to its ball-like base and a round, removable dust bin, this swivel design is something Dyson has long been known for. And it would be flattering for Dyson if Samsung had done something to improve on the original system, but aside from washable filters and dust sensors, the Motion Sync’s mechanics remain largely the same. Calling it “CycloneForce” does not distinguish it from Dyson’s “Root Cyclone.”

Samsung, of course, rejects the notion that it had copied Dyson on the design – but given its past lawsuit in which Samsung was forced to pay Dyson £600,000 (approximately $941,340) for trying to patent Dyson’s existing “triple cyclone” suction technology, the Korean company doesn’t seem to have a good streak going.