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Case highlights differences between patents and registered designs

02 November 2011

Dyson has lost its appeal against rival vacuum cleaner maker Vax. Dyson claimed that Vax’s ‘Mac Zen’ model was too similar to the design of its ‘DC02’ and, early in 2010, brought a case against Vax for flagrantly copying its design. In 2000, Dyson successfully sued Hoover for patent infringement; however, the more recent case that it brought against Vax concerned registered designs and this has highlighted the differences between these approaches to IP protection.

The Dyson 'DC02'

In a statement issued by Vax at the time the case was originally brought, it was pointed out that the registered design for Dyson's first "bagless" cyclonic cylinder vacuum was, at the time, over 15 years old. Vax claimed its Mach Zen was much more powerful than the machine in the Dyson registered design, and 70% quieter than any other cylinder vacuums currently on the market, including Dyson's.

You can read the full judgment of the Appeal Case here.

The Vax 'Mach Zen'

Further information is available from the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys


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