Spring Cleaning with Dyson

If you’re like me, you’re extremely impressed by Dyson products. We happen to own a used Dyson vacuum that was gifted by a friend. Prior to owning this vacuum my thoughts were: Why would anyone spend so much on a vacuum? Do they really work as well as advertised or does Dyson just want to suck up our money (get it-a vacuum joke)?

I’ve come to learn that these vacuums work like Vegas show magic…and I now see why people are willing to dish out close to a thousand dollars for one. If the vacuums weren’t enough -there’s also now Dyson product lines for hair care, hand dryers, lighting, and air treatment. http://www.dyson.com/

I can’t help but wonder who is this brilliant British man? Did his Mom come home from work and find him on the floor with her vacuum completely dismantled? And maybe him looking in her eyes for trust and the reassurance of, “Don’t worry Mum, I’ll make you a better vacuum with more suction.”

James Dyson spent a year studying art and then transferred into furniture and interior design. Then he became interested in engineering and inventing. While he doesn’t have a formal engineering education, he was later given an honorary engineering degree. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dyson

Dyson was disillusioned by his Hoover vacuum and felt that when it was trying to pick up dirt it struggled and lost suction. He had the idea in the late 1970s of using cyclonic separation to create a bag free vacuum that maintained suction. This idea as inspired by how sawmills work. http://www.dyson.com/community/aboutdyson.aspx

Dyson wasn’t always successful. It is believed that it took Dyson 5,127 protypes. In 1986, more than 10 years after his idea came to fruition; he obtained his first US Patent:

https://www.google.com/patents/US4593429

Even though he won the 1991 International Design Fair Prize in Japan no major manufacturers wanted to buy or license his vacuum. As a result, he created his own manufacturing company in 1993. Finally after numerous years in debt, his vacuum became a hit primarily due to a TV advertising campaign which highlighted that no bags were needed. The slogan on the ad was, “Say goodbye to the bag.”

By 1999, companies like Hoover (the very company that made the vacuum that inspired him) lost a lawsuit to Dyson. The Court ruled that Hoover deliberately copied the bag-less feature and suction technology (that was patented in the UK and US). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dyson

Dyson didn’t stop trying or inventing. The moral of the story is if you have something amazing it may require you to make life sacrifices to work on it. The other moral of the story is, intellectual property protection is extremely valuable. Dyson is currently worth 5 billion pounds (I’m not sure what the American Dollar equivalent is). I can guarantee that if he wasn’t diligent about IP protection, he may have lost not only money, but his brilliant ideas to others.

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When you’re taking a break from work and thinking (or doing) your spring cleaning, remember to contact Mohr IP Law. Whether you have an idea for a vacuum, hair dryer, or dog toy –we are here for you. Please contact us today for more information.

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