Dyson, widely regarded as one of Britain’s most innovative manufacturers, has filed a lawsuit in the High Court accusing German rival Bosch of stealing highly sensitive R&D information. Dyson claims that Bosch planted a ‘mole’ engineer at its Malmesbury centre in Wiltshire, who over the course of two years leaked confidential design plans for Dyson’s revolutionary digital motors to a Bosch executive at the German company’s manufacturing facility in China.
Furthermore, it is alleged that Bosch vice-president Dr Wolfgang Hirschburger was aware of the situation. Such a leak of information would pose a serious competitive disadvantage to Dyson as its powerful digital motors, which feature in the firm’s hugely popular cordless cleaners and hand dryers, give it a unique sales edge.
Dyson’s research and development director, Mark Taylor, said: “We have spent over 15 years and £100 million developing high-speed brushless motors, which power our vacuum cleaners and Airblade hand dryers. We are demanding the immediate return of our intellectual property.”
Bosch is preparing to fight the allegations and issued a statement denying any wrongdoing: “Dyson employed an individual with 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 has sought to establish the full details of what occurred, including attempting to establish from Dyson what, if any, confidential information supposedly passed between Bosch and Dyson. Bosch regrets that Dyson has chosen to issue legal proceedings and a press statement at this stage, but will continue to act in the appropriate way.”
Bosch and Dyson are consistently two of the most popular brands of manufacturer in the tool and equipment hire sector.