back to article Samsung flings sueball at Dyson for 'intolerable' IP copycat claim

Samsung is looking for 10 billion won ($9.43m) in compensation from Dyson after the vacuum maker dropped its patent lawsuit against the Korean firm. Dyson DC37 vacuum cleaners The chaebol is claiming that the IP litigation over its MotionSync range of hoovers damaged its corporate image. Dyson filed the suit with the UK …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The chaebol is claiming that the IP litigation over its MotionSync range of hoovers damaged its corporate image."

    Hoover is a company, the expression the author was looking for was vacuum cleaner.

    1. Paul Webb

      "Hoover" was genericised to mean any type (or brand) of vacuum cleaner a long time ago. The (correct) expression the author was looking for was... "hoovers".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If you think it's that generic - go into a shop selling Dyson vacuum cleaners and ask for a "Dyson hoover", see the series of expressions on the salesperons face wihle they try to be polite to you, but it's really cutting them up inside.

        1. Kane Silver badge

          @ Anonymous Coward

          I really don't think the average salesperson could care less tbh.

          1. Squander Two

            Re: @ Anonymous Coward

            And, if they did care, so what? The trademark was diluted, as a matter of law, regardless of any salesperson's opinion.

          2. Z-Eden
            Headmaster

            Re: @ Anonymous Coward

            AAARRRGGGHHHH

            1. Haku

              @ Z-Eden

              Lets beat him up with an aluminum baseball bat...

      2. JaitcH
        Thumb Down

        @ Paul Webb - Hoover? Wasn't he the ...

        gay guy who ran the FBI and kept is job, until he dropped dead, by blackmailing US politicians?

      3. Psyx

        " 'Hoover' was genericised to mean any type (or brand) of vacuum cleaner a long time ago."

        ...In the UK.

    2. Malcolm 1

      Hoover is a practically a genericised trademark, and synonymous with "vacuum cleaner", in the UK at least.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Try Telling that to Biro...

        ... Who have sent letters to Private Eye complaining about their use of another genericised trademark... Private Eye in their usual way simply published the letter on their letters page entitled "What a pathetic way to make a living"

  2. akeane

    That sucks!

    1. Peter Storm

      Yes, but probably not for very long if it's made by Samsung

      1. PJL500

        If Alien ever does get onto planet Earth, the first thing he'll do is give that Samsung sucker an intolerable rodgering!

      2. SuccessCase

        It will advertise a 4 cyclone cell, show pictures of 4 on the box, but the suction hose will only be connected to 2.

  3. frank ly Silver badge

    The picture ..

    When I saw that, I thought it was a picture of Dyson's range of vacuum cleaners. I wonder where Samsung got the idea to make a vacuum cleaner look like that. Or maybe it's obvious and form follows from function :)

    1. Tom7
      FAIL

      Re: The picture ..

      That's because it is a picture of Dyson's vacuum cleaners. Hover over it - the alttext says 'Dyson DC37 Vacuum Cleaners'.

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: The picture ..

        Upvote for pointing out the lack of reading comprehension, although one has to admit that they do look decidedly similar:

        http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/home-appliances/vacuum-cleaner/cylinders/VC20F70UKGC/EU

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The picture ..

          They may look similay, but my VW Golf looks a lot like many other five door family hatchbacks. I strongly suspect it's rather more function defined form than anything else.

          That said, the Samsung is all dark grey and industrial looking, whereas the Dyson is light silver with big chunks of brighly coloured plastic and a hint of a designer who's just seen alien. I guess what I'm saying is that if someone showed me both cleaners unbadged, I'd be more than capable of saying which one was and which one wasn't the Dyson.

          1. JetSetJim Silver badge

            Re: The picture ..

            The Sammy variant also available with a smattering of blue or red, at least:

            http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/home-appliances/vacuum-cleaner/cylinders/VC21F50HDER/EU

            Not quite as garish as the Dyson, admittedly.

          2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: The picture ..

            Pretty much all cyclonic separators look the same and have since 1945 when they were invented. Sure, you can play with diameters, height and flow velocities depending on what you're separating but you're going to get pretty much the same thing if the goal is to make something about the size of and with the functionality of existing vacuum cleaners.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The picture ..

              Thanks for someone pointing out that Dyson didn't - contrary to popular opinion - invent the cyclone as a method of extracting dirt from air.

              Dyson may well have invented some specific techologies, but he does tend to allow as many people as he can to think he invented the whole concept..

              1. MJI Silver badge

                Re: The picture ..

                JD got the idea from a saw mill.

                He admits he thought of the application but just repurposed the cyclone seperators.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The picture ..

          " although one has to admit that they do look decidedly similar:"

          I can confirm that form does not follow function, if my cheapo Samsung bagless vacuum cleaner is anything to go by. Dirt pick up is poor, dust retention appalling, the suction starts off strong but drops off alarmingly quickly. It seems to be similar to Dyson (by reputation) as the turbo brush was pathetic and short lived, and various bits have broken or dropped off.

          And Samsung have a USP of world's noisiest vaccum cleaner. I keep a pair of ear defenders over the handle, so unpleasant and exterme is the noise. Amusingly, the box proudly announced "Whisper quiet", and I have a mental image of two profoundly deaf Samsung engneers

          standing by the device, itself screaming away into an aero engine test bed, even their vision going opaque due to the intensity of the noise energy, congratulating each other in blurred Korean Sign Language on their silent vacuum cleaner.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. DF118

              Re: hearing loss isnt funny!

              troll against those people of the world with hearing issues/problems

              seriously... that's what you took from that comment? get out and about more dude.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: hearing loss isnt funny!

              "downvoted for the troll against those people of the world with hearing issues/problems"

              Bugger off. I'm not trolling against anybody here.

              "Its not funny & it has a huge effect on social ability & confidence"

              Tell me about it. I have close relatives with near profound deafness. But chip on the shoulder gits jumping to conclusions about what I think won't be getting my sympathy vote. So when I say that you're an anonymous knob, you'll understand now that I'm most certainly not disparaging or discriminating - I'd same the same to any other knob.

              Now, go back to my post, consider what I was actually saying (a) that I have an issue with the extreme noise of one of Samsung's vacuum models (the ear defenders are for real, it's not a joke). And the bit about the Samsung engineers is what many people would call a "joke", and is a ridiculous attempt to explain the otherwise inexplicable "whisper quiet" legend on the box.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: you are a bastard of the highest order

              Speaking as someone with significant hearing impairment, I can still tell that you are a bit of an idiot.

          2. DF118

            Re: The picture ..

            @Ledswinger

            I have both a Samsung hoover and a Dyson (yeah, we're a two hoover family). The Samsung is much (much) quieter and has much better suction. It was also less than half the price. In conclusion, I think your sample size might be somewhat lacking.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The picture ..

              " I think your sample size might be somewhat lacking."

              Well, I can raise you a Panasonic bagged cleaner, so we're two vacuum's apeice. But you'd still be right about sample size.

      2. Nick Pettefar

        Re: The picture ..

        Don't you mean Hoover over it?

    2. YetAnotherMatt

      Re: The picture ..

      It *is* a picture of Dyson's range of vacuum cleaners: "Dyson DC37 vacuum cleaners", according to the title and filename.

      1. Syntax Error

        Re: The picture ..

        Look like IMacs to me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The picture ..

          >JD got the idea from a saw mill.

          I read that first prototype actually used the cyclonic extractor from his paint-spray shop....either way the first patent for cyclone vacuum cleaner which resembled a Dyson was granted in 1903 (DT Kenney)

  4. Sandpit

    but...

    Does it have rounded corners?

    1. FartingHippo
      Coat

      Re: but...

      I still can't believe they have a range of Dyson Ball cleaners, when Dyson Sphere would have guaranteed a sale to me at least!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but...Dyson sphere

        At least the thing wouldn't need emptying very often.

        1. auburnman

          Re: but...Dyson sphere

          Stashing it in the cupboard would be murder though

  5. Robert E A Harvey

    Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

    I am sick and tired of Samsung in so many ways.

    I'l get a Vax, if only for old time's sake.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

      Hmm, my recent experience with Vax is that they are a bit shite (a fragile vacuum and a stream mop - the mop really does push the boundaries of shitely designed product). Esp. compared with my Dyson ball thingy which I have been very impressed with.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung - Vax

        I think this is a YMMV one. I replaced a Dyson with a Vax because the Dyson broke and I couldn't get parts - after 2 years. The Vax is now over 4 years old (as I work out with surprise) and is still working perfectly.

        But neither of them come near my 10 year old Henry that cleans the garage. OK it goes through bags, but when I think of what has gone into those bags over the years, ranging from metal filings through wood shavings to carbon fibre, I'd rather empty a sealed bag into a dustbin than have to get the dust out of a Dyson.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung - Vax @AC

          Since Dyson's have a 5 year warrantee, and have had for some years, I presume your broken Dyson was really quite some time ago? Wait though - you've had the Vax for 4 years, so the Dyson must be six (by your numbers), so was within warrantee at the time it failed. Something doesn't add up.

          Oh, and I still see parts for Dysons from years ago on market stalls. Not that mine have ever gone wrong.

    2. Tom7

      Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

      Ah, but do you go for something like the 11/780, on the grounds that the cooling demands of TTL discretes is going to provide better cleaning power? Or would the power efficiency of the MicroVAX compensate for the reduced flow rate?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

        The problem with the 11/780 is the three phase power requirement - not often seen in a domestic setting, whereas the Microvax uses a standard mains plug...

    3. PJI

      Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

      Nothing sucks like a VAX.

      Ah, the VAX 750, running BSD UNIX please.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

      "I'l get a Vax, if only for old time's sake."

      Choose carefully. If you have a look at the cheapest bagless cleaners carrying the Samsung, Hoover and Vax names, you'll see several machines that look near identical. Who actually designed them we'll never know, and my guess is that they all come out of the same factory in China. And they're all Which? "Don't buys".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

        we have a Vax here in the office. Noisy thing and after about 30 mins use it overheats and shuts down for about 2 hours. The handle is too short for tall people and the cord stowage is terrible.

        Bought cheap (sub £100) from Macro I think.

    5. flipper

      Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

      Don't do it! Vax are rubbish. The belt driving the one I had was so weak that the second anything got caught, it would break, no matter how quickly you switched it off.

      I was averaging 2 new belts a month at one point.

      Vax even have "Don't take me back to the shop" written on their boxes and on the cleaners themselves. Speaks volumes about their confidence in the products, I thought.

    6. Peter 48

      Re: Something else I won't be buying from Samsung

      Why, because they are sick and tired of being called copycats by every blind fanboi with an opinion and have decided to fight back?

  6. a well wisher

    Surely there is some prior art regarding small hoovers like that being dragged about by their hose

    There used to be an old (true) Hoover sphere shaped thing with three wheels, didn't there ? ( 50s/60s)

    In fact the Henry is a close approximation - if its all about the steering mech ?

    1. Tom7

      Hasn't basically every non-upright vacuum cleaner ever built had three wheels and been pulled around by its hose? Except Roomba and its lookalikes, I guess.

      1. WonkoTheSane
        Headmaster

        Actually no.

        Back in the 1960, Hoover produced a spherical model without any wheels at all.

        The "Hoover Constellation" floated around on its exhaust like a hovercraft.

        It's still available in the USA:- http://hoover.com/products/details/s3345/constellation-bagged-canister/

        1. Robert E A Harvey

          floated around on its exhaust like

          ... and what a disaster it was. I used to pick it up so it would suck harder. More effort going into float than suck.

      2. jolly

        Some had no wheels

        In the late 70's my parents had a hoover that hovered. You could detach the hose, give it a push, and it would glide across the room (cord permitting, that is). It would also blow as well as suck (by attaching the hose to the air output beneath).

        1. cortland

          Re: Some had no wheels

          "Fair is foul and foul is fair, hover through the filthy air." THERE'S prior art!

  7. DavCrav Silver badge

    "because the British company's accusation that Sammy was a serial patent violator hurt its image"

    Shouldn't be difficult to find evidence of truth though. All we need to prove "serial patent violater" is two or more (for "serial") examples of Samsung losing patent claims (for "patent violater")

    Patent violation number 1:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25842637

    Patenet violation number 2:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/apple-wins-290m-in-damages-from-samsung-in-patent-infringement-case-8956989.html

    OK, I managed to prove the truth of Dyson's statement within five minutes of Googling.

    Of course, many other companies are "serial patent violators", but that doesn't mean that Dyson has lied.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Also worth pointing out that if you select random members of the general public and say "Samsung" and "patent", then 100% will reply "Apple" and 0.43% will reply "Dyson".

      If Samsung were truly worried about lawsuits that damaged their image, they'd sue Apple. In reality, they're just picking on someone who (they hope) isn't big enough to fight back. Quite how they think *that* won't damage their image is anyone's guess.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Proof positive that their brand was, indeed, injured - you feel Samsung was in the wrong even though Dyson dropped their claim.

        Case closed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Baloney

      Absolute rubbish. The autocomplete claim is therefore against the entire Android ecosystem, which includes the autocomplete system as base functionality. **IF** the Apple copyright has any merit Apple simply went after Samsung, as they are currently the largest supplier of Android phones. HTC, LG, Motorola, et al, and Google itself, are all, therefore, just as "guilty" of infringing on that bloody copyright.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The problem with your evidence

      is that Apple's patents are invalid bullshit, and the real reason for the court rulings is that Apple is an American firm and Samsung isn't. Apple didn't invent autocomplete, any more than they invented rounded rectangles. Everything that Apple's iDevices do had been around for years, and all Apple contributed was glossy design and marketing, but the broken land-grab nature of the US patent system has allowed them to assert their specious patents.

      For example, what part of Apple's so-called auto-complete "invention" has even the slightest innovative step beyond what was described in the prior art patent 6377965 (filing date: Nov 7, 1997)?

      A word completion system that can automatically predict unrestricted word completions for data entries in an unstructured portion of a data file. The word completion system applies prediction criteria to avoid annoying the user by displaying an excessive number of wrong suggestions. Suggested word completions, which may change as the user types a partial data entry, are displayed in a non-disruptive manner and selected using traditional acceptance keystrokes, such as the "tab" key or the "enter" key. The word completion system may be deployed on an individual application program basis or on a application-independent basis. Because different word suggestion lists may be appropriate for different application programs, and for different data files created with the same application program, the word completion system allows the user to select one or more suggestion lists for use with each data file. A user interface allows the user to customize each suggestion list on an on-going basis...

      (Tip o' the hat to patents.stackexchange for digging that one up.)

  8. Grease Monkey

    Worth pointing out that your capitalized TEN BILLION won works out at around 5 million quid?

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Yeah, but if it had been £ or $ then el Reg would have spelt it BEEELLION!

  9. Philip Lewis

    Ball & chain

    The article mentioned the original Dyson filing was for a ball steering mechanism, which is clearly something quite patentable, a real engineering solution to an engineering problem.

    Dyson must have felt that the effort was more than it was worth to chase a monster SPI (Serial Paent Infringer) like Samsung. I suggest that the original filing information will now get litigated as part of the counter suit.

    I looked at the Samsung link, and the devices do look remarkably similar. I suspect they have made just sufficient number of changes to Dyson's design to avoid a "registered trade dress" suit in the UK. This is the Samsung MO, copy everything and change it just enough to avoid getting sued. Samsung is not the only Asian manufacturer to have this as their guiding philosophy

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Ball & chain

      Prior art to ball steering mechanism: http://www.historyvortex.org/DalekAnatomy.html

      And they tend to settle out of court, the hard way!

      1. DaveK

        Dalek 'anatomy'!?

        That's a bit like presenting a cutaway diagram of a car and calling it "Human anatomy" because of the driver, isn't it?

  10. James Boag

    RE Hoover / Hoovers

    Hoover is the command i give to my black labs when our child drops food on the floor !

    1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: RE Hoover / Hoovers

      Not very good Labs then if you have to ask them :-)

      1. Gordon Pryra

        Re: RE Hoover / Hoovers

        Or extremely well behaved labs if you look at it differently. :)

        1. JurassicPark
          Facepalm

          Re: RE Hoover / Hoovers

          Or extreeeemly hungry labs if they are well behaved and you forget to give the command.

  11. PJL500

    Dyson overrated

    Although suction is about the same Miele is a far better machine. Firstly the Dyson gets dirty looking within a matter of months; dust accumulates in the crevices of the casing and is hard to clean out. Secondly instead of using bags the Dyson uses a filter - the bag is the filter in other machines like Miele - which means that when emptying the Dyson it is easy to get a lung full of particulates. Compare this to removing a closed bag of dust. The Miele has a HEPA filter at the exhaust which complements the bag when in use. The Miele is not a health hazard when "emptying." Dyson/Samsung is about marketing technology that sounds and looks fancy. The Dyson filter needs changing once a year = about the same cost as Miele bags for a year.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Dyson overrated

      FFS.

      Whilst no Dyson apologist (just a happy customer), got to point out the FACTUAL ERRORS in your post.

      The Dyson is marketed as a BAGLESS VACUUM. That's why it doesn't have BAGS, Bags clog (yes, they really do) and suction efficiency decreases as the bag fills. And emptying and avoiding particulates is trivial. Pop off the container, put it in the wheely bin. Pull trigger. Stand aside if windy which is usual the only hazard.

      Second point. The Dyson HEPA filter is washable, and never needs replacing. As is the motor filter.

      1. PJL500

        Re: Dyson overrated

        I stand corrected on the second point. The Dyson filter no longer needs annual replacing - they are good for about 4 years now with the also unhealthy 6 month washing procedure. On the first point BAGLESS was my point. When removing the motor filter to wash the air will fill with particulates. When emptying the Dyson the air around will fill with particulates - nasty often invisible heavy metals etc - you might not see the cloud but you ARE inhaling it.

        The Miele does not lose suction until it is almost full. But you are happy and that's good.

      2. Bob 5

        Re: Dyson overrated

        Washable HEPA filters? Not mine...They may have changed the design, but the HEPA filters in my two upright Dysons were paper and not washable. When my machines lost suction after a few months use, ("100% of the suction, 100% of the time" - I don't think so...), I first removed the totally clogged 6" foam filter, (inadequate surface area for the job IMHO), washed that, dried it and replaced it and wondered why the wife was still whinging, so prised off another cover with a screwdriver at great risk of breaking the plastic and found a clogged paper "Lifetime" HEPA filter inside, took it out and threw it away - job done. At least now there's only one filter to clog up after a few month's use, and don't get me started about broken clutches and split hoses... My old Hoover Senior from the 60's was better. It even had a light on the front, and was made of sturdy aluminium.... and before you ask, much to my regret I gave it away to the local scouts after falling for the Dyson hype. Bags clog and filters clog - not much difference, really.

      3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Dyson overrated

        @James Hughes 1 Bags clog and suction efficiency decreases as the bag fills

        I'm sure that's true, but everything depends on how well the bag/filter/cyclone solution is implemented.

        My Miele vacuum cleaner is about 5 years old, but there's no evidence of loss of suction, even when the bag is packed tight with something like a kilo of dust. It's also fairly light, easy to carry, and retracts its own cable very smartly.

        The predecessor was a Dyson. Even without bags, it suffered from diminishing suction. Emptying it was a filthy job on anything but a windless day. Various components, including the hose, failed and had to be replaced. And it was so heavy and cumbersome that my cleaner hated it.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: Dyson overrated

          I still cannot see how emptying the Dyson (or any other bagless cleaner) is a filthy job. I do it all the time, and get no more dirty than I do emptying a Henry or Meile (yes, have opportunity to empty both). Stand upwind if you are worried about blown dust. It's not rocket science.

          As for the filters. Washed the Dyson ones a few time, no problems at all. So not sure what other people are seeing.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe it is time to boycott samsung then?

    Just looking at the Samsung vacuum cleaners it is clear that they are intended to be mistaken for the Dyson products. I don't subscribe to the rounded corners BS but on vaccum cleaners they do seem to me to have crossed the line. I understand that the Dyson shape grew out of their ball IP and so cannot be seen as being the optimal shape without the ball, to me at least Samsung have stepped over the line.

  13. wikkity

    Not enough protection?

    "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."

    Why should it offer any protection to something that is not prior art or if a company achieve the desired effect in a different way? You can't patent ideas, just the way of implementing them neber mind if it's not an original suggestion.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not enough protection?

      In other words: "Bigger boys came".

      I lost a lot of time for him when he packed his manufacturing off out of the country and now lectures the government of manufacturing in the UK and the state of education. He seems to be just another angry old man who can't see the links between what he does and what his company has to deal with. You'll also notice that the price of his vaccum cleaners didn't reduce when he offshored to save money.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Not enough protection?

        They wouldn't let him expand his factory so he moved it abroad

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not enough protection?

          Yes, like I said "Biger boys came" with added "so we took our bat and ball and went away". Not allowed to expand a particular factory, so he had to go to Malaysia to find another viable one? Do you mean to tell me there wasn't a single viable facility in the whole of the UK, or even Europe to house his works?

    2. wikkity

      Re: Not enough protection?

      Downvoted for stating that patents do not cover ideas or solutions that have prior art or even cover other solutions to the same problem? Either people don't understand or work at Dyson?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dyson's sense of entitlement and ignorance of how patent system works

    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.

    Wow, did they really think that saying that would make them look good, rather than like they have an outrageous sense of entitlement? They're saying that they feel they deserve paying if people don't violate their patents, by doing something different, or if their patents turn out to be invalid. Sorry, but no way: like copyright, a patent doesn't give you ownership of an idea; it gives you ownership of the physical expression of an idea, in this case an invention. If someone does the same thing in a different way, that's then their invention, not yours, and you have no business interfering.

    Serously, screw Dyson. Just because they're David to Samsung's Goliath doesn't mean they're automatically in the right, and it sounds to me like this time they're just dead wrong.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, I can see where Samsung is coming from - I'd be extremely insulted if someone implied that I wanted to make stuff that looks like the "I just got a color monitor and a solids modeling program!" exercises in industrial design that Dyson favors.

    Seriously, though - Miele. My wife and I have a decade-old one that was only just handed down from my parents, and the thing is absolutely bloody brilliant. It's a bit scratched, and the tool door doesn't hold itself open anymore, but everything else works flawlessly.

    If you ever have the opportunity, pull apart a Miele a bit and check out the material usage. There's almost no really hard plastic in there, and the flexibility and texture of the parts - even the hidden ones - varies dramatically depending on the jobs they do. Result: Stuff doesn't snap off, get brittle, or otherwise fail unceremoniously. It's an absolute masterwork of functional, beautiful design.

    The Germans may have tried to conquer Europe and murder my ancestors, but god damn, do they ever make awesome hardware.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The Germans may have tried to conquer Europe and murder my ancestors, but god damn, do they ever make awesome hardware."

      Their bombers weren't much good, luckily. Obviously the tank designers went on to make hoovers after the end of the last big party.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      "The Germans may have tried to conquer Europe and murder my ancestors, but god damn, do they ever make awesome hardware."

      Listen mate. British Empire could have stayed out of Belgium back in '14 and continued to exploit India and China for fun and profit, while Wilhelm would have bled out against the French and Russia or managed to build a railway from Paris to St. Petersburg, innit? Messed it all up, did ya?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "British Empire could have stayed out of Belgium back in '14 and continued to exploit India and China for fun and profit, while Wilhelm would have bled out against the French and Russia..."

        That's neither here nor there; I would suggest that the events taking place between 1938 and 1940 make a fairly strong case for my assertion that Germany had, shall we say, ambitious territory acquisition goals. I didn't say that they tried to do it twice - indeed, the aftermath of the Archduck's assassination isn't always all it's quacked up to be.

  16. Captain Underpants

    I find it difficult to sympathise with any issues Dyson the person has when the smarmy git has taken out adverts in the past in which he boasts about how Dyson the firm patents its ideas & technology in order to maintain their exclusivity (ie refuse point blank to licence them to any other firm). Given that colossal missing-the-entire-point-of-the-patent-system, I find myself automatically suspicious of any complaints he has about the patent system as it stands.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Doh @underpants

      "(ie refuse point blank to licence them to any other firm). "

      That is what patents are for, to allow an inventor to have a monopoly on the particular invention for a period of time, prohibiting others from using it. A reward, if you will, for being clever enough to invent something seminal.

      Get over it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Doh @underpants

        You're both right. The patents process does permit a patent holder to have a temporary monopoly on a novel idea, in order to exploit it. It also exists so that industry can be brought forward at a faster pace by the (admittedly normally optional) licensing of existing patents to third parties, so that better products can be built on top of existing inventions with appropriate payments to the inventors. As far as I am aware, the only time you'll be fored (as a patent holder) to licence a product is if no-one else makes the product and you keep refusing reasonable offers for the licence.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Doh @underpants

          > It also exists so that industry can be brought forward at a faster pace

          It clearly does the opposite.

          Cartels advancing things! Next: flying pigs.

      2. Captain Underpants

        Re: Doh @underpants

        @AC

        Nope, the point is supposed to be that the patent holder gets recognised as the sole licence holder for the idea (and thus a mechanism to get paid for having provided details of a useful idea/solution to a problem) and society/industry benefits from not having to constantly reinvent the wheel by providing an incentive for inventors to share the specifics of their ideas.

        Deciding that you're going to patent something and then refuse to licence it to anyone is to specifically Act The Bellend; nobody says that you have to licence your ideas *cheaply* (and certainly I could see justification in eg setting the licence fee such that competitors would be unable to price-match their offerings without cutting into their profit margin). But boasting about how you use the patent system in order to specifically refuse to ever share the solutions you've devised to engineering problems instantly puts you into my Big Book O' Bellends.

  17. Fihart

    What did vacuum cleaners look like before Dyson ?

    Answer is they looked nothing like a Dyson. The man could not sell the big brands on his concept so made it himself.

    Since then, an awful lot of cleaners look like a Dyson.

    The ball mechanism originated with Dyson's wheelbarrow, I believe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What did vacuum cleaners look like before Dyson ?

      "What did vacuum cleaners look like before Dyson ? Answer is they looked nothing like a Dyson"

      Depends how closely you look. Stop at the bright colours and Fisher Price shapes, and Dyson's did look different. But step back, and compare an original Dyson to a comparable Hoover upright, and you've still got a beater brush bar stuck on a suction head that rolls along the floor, attached to an upright handle with a dust canister attached.

      I doubt many people looked at a Dyson and wondered what it was. And the colours and shapes were simply dsign choices, mostly with limited relevance to the bagless operation. Arguably Dyson cleaners would have been every bit as successful if they'd been bagged models but with the same emphasis on colours and design.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck off Samsung, ya' thieving bastards...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    samsung

    The way Dyson talks, you'd think Samsung had form for copying an innovative rival who'd revolutionized the sector with cheap and inferior knock offs designed to look as much like the original as possible.

  20. WatAWorld

    The patent system desperately needs to be made looser pay

    "hidden prior art is occasionally found and ways to design around existing patents identified"

    1. If there is prior art you have nothing to protect.

    2, If people find a different way to do something they aren't infringing your patent and you don't deserve any money.

    That companies don't see it that way is why the patent system desperately needs to be made looser pay, except in unusual circumstances.

  21. Frank N. Stein

    Really, Samsung? It's highly unlikely that Dyson's filing against you "damaged your reputation" as a vacuum cleaner manufacturer. Has anyone here ever seen a Samsung Vacuum cleaner? Perhaps in Korea. Not in the USA, for sure. Not to worry, Sammy. Apple will sue you over the Galaxy S5.

    1. Fihart

      @ Frank H. Stein

      I've seen a Samsung Dyson-Alike -- dumped on the pavement, presumably broken.

  22. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "The patent system offers us some protection but not enough"

    Translation: WE OWN EVERYTHING AND ARE ENTITLED TO IT.

    Dyson! Out!

    Make a lovechild with the revolutionary/innovative Apple. Then patent it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The patent system offers us some protection but not enough"

      Freetards. Self-centered and over entitled assholes since 1983...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Motes and Dyson Planks.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/6377644/Dyson-fan-was-it-invented-30-years-ago.html

  24. VulcanV5

    Dyson problems

    The natural generosity of spirit that pervades all El Reg posters certainly explains why there's so much support for Dyson, but user experience says otherwise. Reception on our Dyson is crap and the screen has never worked. If Samsung is doing it better, then fair enough.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me, or is Dyson kind of the vacuum cleaner equivalent of BOSE? :P

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