Dyson loses vacuum cleaner ‘copycat’ court row

Dyson has been ordered to pay costs of up to £200 000 after a losing a court battle with vacuum cleaner company Vax over claims of design rights infringement.


Dyson initially launched legal action against Vax last year, claiming that the company’s Mach Zen model (pictured right) infringed the overall design of Dyson’s first cylinder vacuum, the DC02 (pictured left).

After losing a High Court case in July, Dyson then took the case to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal has now ruled that the Mach Zen cleaner has its own, individual design and ordered Dyson to pay Vax’s costs, which Vax says total almost £200 000 – although Dyson says the costs are £78 000.

Dyson says it recently won a case in the French courts in which it claimed that the Dirt Devil had copied Dyson’s overall look. Both Vax and Dirt Devil are owned by China-based company TTI. Sir James Dyson says, ‘We need to better protect British design.’

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  • Helena November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Well, I owned Fantom Lightning canister long time before I found out about Dyson. So, who started this design in the first place? Was it Fantom or Dyson?
    That being said, Dyson is not worth the money, design has many little plastic pieces that makes it very fragile compare to Fantom. Their only flaw was weak elbow/knuckle on the motor head. I wish I could trade my 700 bucks dyson for Fantom. Anyday!!!!
    Let the people decide which one they buy. Why sue over stupid design? There is a market for both names.

  • Nick Bowman November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Interesting. I can see a greater difference between these than I can between an iPad and a Samsung Galaxy Tab….and there the result has gone the other way.

  • michael vaughan November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    perhaps the court needs a lesson in the process of origination of product design,it’s development and USP,it’s concept,it’s engineering and the need to fend off copycats.

  • Eric Tong November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Nick – your comment described exactly what happened… are you supposed to say the reverse?

    My comment is that it is bloody obvious that this is a design right infringement. Tell me that the chinese dreamt up this design without seeing the DC02.

  • Michael Awford November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Bit off-subject, but I never did understand how Dyson was granted a patent for his vortex principle in the first place, vortex dust removers had been in use in woodworking and similar dust producing factories for years. ???

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