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Thursday, 25 October 2012

Bosch says Dyson talking bosh on industrial espionage

Who needs "Airblade" technology anyhow?
British engineering firm Dyson has initiated court proceedings in the High Court in London against its German rival Bosch over alleged misuse of confidential information.

Dyson claims that an employee, who was part of a team of 100 engineers working on its digital motors, was passing information to Bosch for up to two years. The motors are used in its cordless vacuum cleaners as well as in its Airblade hand dryers.

According to news reports, Dyson is claiming that confidential information was passed by the employee to Bosch's Chinese motor manufacturer, and that a company was set up with the sole purpose of making payments from Bosch to the employee.

Bosch has issued a press release saying that the employee in question, when taken on by Dyson, had "a pre-existing consultancy agreement with Bosch Lawn and Garden Limited in relation to garden products, and not vacuum cleaners or hand dryers as Dyson implies." Bosch says it is trying to establish from Dyson what confidential information, if any, passed between Dyson and Bosch.

Thus far, the IPKat sees little detail in the news reports beyond the conflicting accounts above. If any readers can fill in missing details, they are welcome to do so in the comments below or by emailing theipkat@gmail.com.

4 comments:

Jeremy said...

I'm glad to see that Dyson has sufficient confidence in the UK's IP system to venture back into court to protect its rights. Until its recent design law disappointment in Dyson v Vax (http://ipkitten.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/considering-designs-in-vacuum.html), where the Court of Appeal correctly upheld Richard Arnold's trial decision that Vax's vacuum cleaner did not give the informed user the same impression as Dyson's, Dyson was a very successful UK litigant. After that setback came the moans, e.g. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/9563588/James-Dyson-calls-for-reform-to-patent-system.html

Anonymous said...

I believe the noises produced from Dyson's products are based on recordings of his moaning. The hand-drier has a particularly annoying high-pitched whinging sound.

Jeremy said...

@Anonymous -- it's not the noise of those Dyson hand-driers that troubles me, it's the sensation that I'm shedding the top few layers of skin cells on my hands. Dyson could have gone for a patent for an exfoliation device.

Anonymous said...

Overall I can't help but think of Graham Greene and Our Man in Havana when I read this. It's almost but not quite a case of life imitating art.

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