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Intellectual property: Dyson to sue Samsung over vacuum steering

The British manufacturing firm Dyson has announced it will sue rival Samsung of South Korea, after claiming they have copied a patent covering a steering mechanism for the new Samsung Motion Sync vacuum cleaner, reports the BBC.

Dyson, founded by inventor Sir James Dyson, is well known for its innovations in the manufacture of vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and desk fans.

The company burst onto the scene 20 years ago with the world's first bag-free vacuum cleaner. The innovation revolutionised the industry and was followed with several innovations in both the upright and compact vacuum cleaners, as well as branching into other products. 

However, Dyson has long fought legal battles with rivals in a bid to protect the innovations that are at the heart of their business.

In 1999 Dyson won a court case against American firm Hoover for patent infringement. Although they lost a similar battle against Vax in 2010 in the UK, they won their case against Vax's sister company, Dirt Devil, in France.

Dyson has also successfully launched legal action against Samsung in the past, with a judge ordering the Korean firm to pay £600,000 in costs after attempting to patent suction technology that Dyson had already invented.

The latest patent dispute concerns the steering mechanism unveiled by Samsung as part of their new Motion Sync vacuum launched at a technology show in Berlin last week.

Dyson claims that the mechanism clearly infringes a patent it holds for the design of the steering mechanism.

Speaking of the legal action, Sir James Dyson said the product looked like a 'cynical rip off'.

However, a spokeswoman for Samsung defended their new product, saying: "The Samsung Motion Sync is an outcome of our own extensive research and development."

"We will take all necessary measures, including legal actions, to protect our technological innovation against Dyson's groundless claims," the spokeswoman added.