Wragge & Co IP litigators score a major design rights victory for Dyson in China
Wragge & Co's Intellectual Property (IP) team has secured a significant victory for global design and engineering business Dyson in a high-profile design rights case.
Dyson brought the case against China-based manufacturer Yongkang Yixuan for design infringement relating to its Air Multiplierô fan. Launched at the end of 2009, the Air Multiplierô fan uses innovative technology to create a smooth, uninterrupted flow of air without the use of conventional blades. The design has attracted widespread attention in China and more than 20 potential design infringements are under review.
In this first trial to reach court the decision went in favour of Dyson, with a finding of infringement and the award of an injunction and significant damages. The judgment confirms that Yongkang Yixuan's product does infringe the company's Air Multiplierô fan design. The outcome is the culmination of an eight-month legal battle and marks a significant step forward on the road to protecting Dyson's design rights in China. Dyson also has pending invention patents for the technology included in the Air Multiplierô fan in China and will be quick to enforce its rights against any infringers.
Head of Intellectual Property Gordon Harris acted for Dyson in the conduct of the case. Dr Jian Xu, who heads up the IP team's China office in Guangzhou also advised and ran the case in China. The wider team included solicitors Andrew Maggs and Antony Craggs, supported by junior lawyer Edith Ruan. The Wragge & Co team worked closely with Gill Smith, director of intellectual property at Dyson and in-house patent attorney Nerys Hucker. Local Chinese counsel advised Yongkang Yixuan.
Gordon Harris said: "Protecting design rights across multiple territories remains a challenging issue. Dyson has been quick to identify potential problems and seek expert advice. Having worked with Wragge & Co previously it knew the firm had the right expertise for the case; first-rate credentials, a strong understanding of the Dyson business, and proven success in resolving complex IP issues in China. The outcome sends out a strong message about the Dyson brand and marks a further success for Wragge & Co's growing Guangzhou office."
Gill Smith at Dyson said: "Dyson is a highly innovative company in both design and technology. Its intellectual property rights are key to its success, and Dyson has proven that it will enforce those rights wherever in the world they are infringed. China is a difficult jurisdiction, but with help and guidance from Gordon and his team we have had a string of successes, culminating in this first full trial win. We have more cases in hand or under investigation and we will pursue relentlessly those companies which flagrantly steal the fruits of Dyson's highly innovative engineers and scientists."
Sir James Dyson's privately-owned technology group has an annual turnover of £770 million. It employs more than 2,500 people around the world, based in offices in the US, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and many other countries. Wragge & Co has advised Dyson on issues ranging from IP to banking since 2000.
Wragge & Co's 42-lawyer Intellectual Property team is one of Europe's leading dedicated IP practices, delivering advice on contentious and non-contentious matters to UK and multinational organisations. With dedicated IP expertise in France, Germany, China and the UK, the team works with some of the world's biggest companies. Recent highlights include securing landmark victories for Cinpres and Delta.
For further information about this press release, contact Kathryn Hobbs on +44 (0)121 685 2785, Rebecca Davies on +44 (0)121 685 3819, Gayle Biddle on +44 (0)121 685 2708 or Amy Richards on +44 (0)121 260 9973
This press release may contain information of general interest about current legal issues, but does not give legal advice.