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Dyson fails to clean up

9 September 2010

The High Court has dismissed a claim by Dyson Ltd against rival Vax Ltd for infringement of Dyson’s registered design for a cyclonic vacuum cleaner. The claim concerned Vax’s Mach Zen model which Dyson claimed infringed their registered design dating back to 1994.

Mr Justice Arnold dismissed the claim, deciding the two designs gave a different overall impression to the informed user of vacuum cleaners. He based this on the significant differences between the two machines; stating the Dyson machine gave a smooth, curving, elegant impression whereas Vax’s machine gave a rugged, angular, industrial and even rather brutal impression!

Despite the judge’s complementary take on its design Dyson are very unlikely to be satisfied with this decision. Dyson have historically gone to great lengths to protect their famous intellectual property. It therefore seems very likely that they will try to appeal it, in which case there is a likelihood of a referral to the ECJ.

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