FORTUNE -- Given its miserable track record in patent battles with Apple (AAPL), Samsung's legal team must have taken great solace in Dyson Ltd's decision to drop the patent infringement suit it filed against the company in September.
At issue was the steering mechanism in the "Motion Sync" vacuum cleaner that Samsung introduced at a Berlin consumer electronics show last summer. Sir James Dyson declared it a "cynical rip-off" of a patented feature in Dyson's DC cylinder vacuums.
Samsung had documentation to show it had been working its steering mechanism for more than a year, and the Dyson suit was dismissed on Nov. 21, 2013 -- the same day a California jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple another $290 million for iPhone patent infringements.
Now Samsung has turned the tables, according to the Korea Times, and is suing Dyson for "intolerable" litigation that has "seriously hurt its corporate image."
Declaring that it is taking "a hard-line stance against patent trolls that use litigations as a marketing tool," Samsung is asking for 10 billion won ($9.4 million) in damages.
This is not the first time the two companies have locked horns over vacuum cleaner technology. In 2009 Britain's High Court ordered Samsung to suck it up and pay Dyson $850,000 for infringing Dyson's "triple cyclone" patents.
UPDATE: Dyson's official statement:
"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."
Claims Google rails against "patent trolls" while investing billions to play the same game.
FORTUNE -- The ironies in the complaint Google (GOOG) filed in a California federal court Monday were not lost of FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller.
Google was responding to a pair of patent infringement suits filed in October by Rockstar -- the consortium led by Apple (AAPL) that edged out the search giant ($4.5 billion to Google's $4.4 billion) in MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 25, 2013 2:55 PM ET
Claims a Patent Office decision "calls into question the entire jury verdict in this trial."
FORTUNE -- On Tuesday, Samsung's lawyers interrupted Apple v. Samsung -- the patent retrial of the century -- to demand a mistrial.
Apple's (AAPL) chief counsel had played the race card, they claimed, when he compared what Samsung was doing to Apple in smartphones to what foreign manufacturers (i.e. Asians) had done to American-made televisions.
On Wednesday, as the jury MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 21, 2013 10:57 AM ET
A hearing on the leak of confidential Apple documents is scheduled for Oct. 22.
FORTUNE -- In advance of last year's big patent infringement trial that resulted in a billion dollar judgement against Samsung -- not a penny of which has yet been paid -- Samsung's attorneys demanded that Apple (AAPL) turn over the contents of its patent licensing agreements with Nokia (NOK) and three other manufacturers, Ericsson, Sharp, and Philips.
Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 3, 2013 8:49 AM ET
The U.S. International Trade Commission gets slapped down twice in one week.
FORTUNE -- In late 1940s, an inventor named William Graham solved the age-old problem of how to protect a plow cutting through rocky soil by adding shock absorbers to the plow's shanks. He applied for a patent, and it was granted in 1950. When John Deere (DE) incorporated the technology into its plows, Graham sued.
The case went all the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 8, 2013 9:28 AM ET
There are parallels between today's trolls and the so-called sharks of the 19th century.
FORTUNE -- Complaints about patent trolls have reached such a level that the White House is now pushing for reform. Some people might believe the problem to be relatively new. And it is, in a way. But there were patent trolls in the 19th century, and they behaved in much the same way as modern ones, causing MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Jun 7, 2013 7:35 AM ET
It came the same day the White House proposed reforming the very agency that issued it.
FORTUNE -- The ironies underlying the U.S. International Trade Commission's order Tuesday banning the import from China of certain older iPhones and iPads are stacked up like planes circling Dulles International waiting for a chance to land.
But before we list them, we need to make an important distinction between two kinds of patents:
Standards-essential patents (SEPs), MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 5, 2013 9:53 AM ET
Apple to Google: If you've got something to say about Samsung, join the damned suit.
FORTUNE -- Following its $1.05 billion patent infringement victory last summer, Apple (AAPL) appealed the district court judge's decision not to ban the sale of the Samsung devices that the jury determined had infringed multiple Apple patents.
Google (GOOG) and several other companies now want to file an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief to the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 8, 2013 9:10 AM ET
April was the cruelest month yet for Google and Motorola on the patent front.
FORTUNE -- It was Google (GOOG) against the world last month, as it fought and lost patent battles directly or by proxy with Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Nokia (NOK), HTC and ZTE. "Google shoot blanks in smartphone patent wars," wrote Thomson Reuters' Reynolds Holding. Or as The Verge's Nilay Patel put it: "Does anyone know why Google bought Motorola?"
FOSS MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 3, 2013 8:27 AM ET
Is this the future of interactive advertising? Hopefully not.
FORTUNE -- Maybe patent illustrations shouldn't be fair game. After all they are intentionally crude, existing to be simultaneously vague and specific, laying claim to an innovation or idea without giving too much away. And yet, Sony (SNE) patent 8246454 B2 is irresistible. Filed in 2009 and published last summer, the patent describes "methods, systems, and computer programs for converting television commercials MOREMatt Vella - Apr 30, 2013 1:32 PM ET
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