Samsung to pay Dyson Technology over patent dispute

LONDON Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:41pm GMT

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LONDON Feb 13 (Reuters) - A British court on Friday ordered South Korean electronics company Samsung (005930.KS) to pay British company Dyson Technology Limited a likely 590,000 pounds (US $852,600) for trying to patent the vacuum cleaner maker's triple-cyclone technology.

A year ago, unlisted Dyson took Samsung to court to revoke two British patents of its three-cyclone system, which uses aerospace technology to subject vacuumed dirt to a G-force 43,000 times that experienced by a Formula one racing driver.

In a technical 60-page ruling given at the end of January, Britain's High Court upheld Dyson's principal claims that it had already invented and patented the system.

The judge at a cost hearing on Friday repeated that Dyson was the clear winner in the case and ordered Samsung to pay the company most of its court costs.

"Samsung aped our patented technology and cynically claimed to have invented it," Dyson Chief Executive James Dyson said in a statement.

"We may not be a commercial giant like Samsung, but we will vigorously defend all the technology we have worked hard to develop and protect. Today's result is a win for engineers and inventors," he said.

"This ruling relates only to the validity of certain patent claims," Samsung said in a statement. "Also the ruling does not affect the supply of our products."

The judge, Justice Arnold, said: "In the present case it seems to be clear that Dyson is the winner," adding the company was successful in entirely invalidating one patent and successfully attacking the part of the other patent it had intended to attack.

The judge ordered Samsung Gwangju Electronics Co Limited to pay Dyson 65 percent of the roughly 900,000 pounds in costs Dyson incurred during the trial. Subject to a detailed cost assessment, this equates to 590,000 pounds (US $852,600).

Arnold directed Samsung to pay an interim payment of 275,000 pounds within 21 days.

Samsung, which won some patent amendments and therefore did not have to pay 100 percent of Dyson's court costs, requested and was given permission to appeal the decision. (Reporting by Paul Lauener)

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