Vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson has launched legal action against rival manufacturer Vax, claiming the design of its Mach Zen vacuum cleaner (pictured) is an infringement of the registered design of its first "bagless" Dyson cylinder vacuum, launched 15 years ago.
The company's founder and inventor James Dyson said the Chinese-owned rival had "flagrantly copied" Dyson's iconic design and pledged to set a precedent on behalf of all designers.
"Vax's Chinese owners have flagrantly copied a Dyson design,” Dyson said. “We defend our intellectual property and design rights, protecting our inventions and setting a precedent on behalf of other designers. After all, plagiarism is a form of theft."
Vax declined to comment on the legal proceedings, which are likely to lead to a high court hearing.
In 2006, Dyson succeeded in its claim against Qualtex for selling vacuum cleaner parts that infringed Dyson's design rights. The Chinese manufacturer that produced certain parts for Qualtex was found to have copied the visual design of some of Dyson's spare parts. Following the win, £100,000 (approx. U.S. $161,000) was donated to the Royal College of Art to help young designers protect their designs.
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