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Vax clean up

9 November 2011

Dyson has lost its appeal against the High Court’s decision that Vax’s Mach Zen vacuum cleaner does not infringe Dyson’s registered design for its DC02 vacuum cleaner.

The High Court had dismissed Dyson’s infringement claim on the basis that the Mach Zen produced a different overall impression on the informed user. Dyson appealed the decision but the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal emphasising that the key legal issues was whether the Mach Zen did or did not produce on the informed user a different overall impression and, in this case, the Mach Zen did indeed produce a different overall impression with the court noting that there were in fact ‘substantial differences’.

This case is a reminder that even if you have broad registered design protection, the use by a third party of a similar design will not amount to infringement if that design produces a different overall impression on the informed user (a knowledgeable user of the product).

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