Samsung has a message for Dyson: Don’t mess with our corporate image.

The Korean electronics giant has filed a lawsuit against U.K.-based Dyson over a patent dispute involving one of its vacuum cleaners. It’s seeking 10 billion won (around $9.43 million) to compensate for the damages Dyson’s original suit caused to its corporate image.

“Samsung’s marketing activities were negatively affected by Dyson’s groundless litigation, which is intolerable,” a Samsung spokesperson told the Korea Times.

Dyson filed suit against the Korean electronics maker in September after Samsung introduced its “Motion Sync” vacuum at a Berlin consumer electronics show. Company founder Sir James Dyson called Samsung’s steering mechanism a “cynical rip-off” of its patented vacuum-steering system.

Samsung produced documentation showing it had been working on the Motion Sync’s steering tech for over a year, and Dyson withdrew the lawsuit after determining it was unlikely to win.

“The most unproductive innovation is a patent litigation,” said Samsung’s co-CEO Boo-Keun Yoon following Dyson’s withdrawal.

The $9.43 million compensation Samsung seeks is a fairly small amount of money for both companies, although the total may increase if Seoul’s Central District Court sides with Samsung. But the lawsuit is about more than money.

Dyson has rigorously pursued its competitors for patent infringement. In 2009, Britain’s High Court ordered Samsung to pay Dyson $850,000 for infringing on its “triple cyclone” patents. With its countersuit, Samsung aims to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.


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