back to article Dyson alleges spy stole 'leccy motor secrets for Bosch

British vacuum cleaner magnate Dyson has started High Court proceedings against German industrial giant Bosch, claiming its rival swiped its designs for a new generation of electric motor. Mark Taylor, Dyson's R&D chief, said: “Bosch’s VP for engineering employed a Dyson engineer and benefited from our confidential know-how …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vaccum maker?

    Is a Dyson - or other cyclonic cleaner, strictly speaking a *vacuum* cleaner. I had thought not, although see Dyson themselves describe the products as vacuum cleaners.

    1. Badvok

      Re: Vaccum maker?

      "Is a Dyson - or other cyclonic cleaner, strictly speaking a *vacuum* cleaner." - Errr ... Yes!

      Although no cleaner produces an absolute vacuum (impossible to obtain in any form) they do all work by producing a region of low pressure which sucks the dirt up and hence can be correctly described as vacuum cleaners.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Vaccum maker?

        > can be correctly described as vacuum cleaners.

        What? You mean a hoover?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          What is this action "hooving" of which you speak?

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Vaccum maker?

          Call a Dyson a Hoover and James will hunt you down, he HATES that term.

  2. Comments are attributed to your handle

    Say what you want about Dyson

    ... but my Dyson vacuum cleaner has been going strong for several years.

    1. Shagbag

      Re: Say what you want about Dyson

      ...mine hasn't.

      While the 'cyclone' tech stuff still works, it's the other non-design stuff (hose, wheels, etc.) that continues to split, fall-off, break, etc.

      I've been through two Dyson vacuum cleaners and I'm still not convinced of the £££ premium they cost. Bosch currently make better value gear.

      1. Lusty

        Re: Say what you want about Dyson

        "While the 'cyclone' tech stuff still works, it's the other non-design stuff (hose, wheels, etc.) that continues to split, fall-off, break, etc."

        Hose is £23

        Wheel is £3

        not like they are trying to rip you off, and all parts are user serviceable.

        1. typeo

          If still in the 5 year warranty period they send you parts for free. Only had a bearing in a brush bar go, they swiftly sent a new one. That was after the woman at customer services had taken a listen to the racket it was making over the phone.

      2. Comments are attributed to your handle

        Re: "mine hasn't"

        I'm pretty rough on vacuums; swinging them around by the handle to move them, bumping the wheels into walls, but again, the Dyson (a DC14, to be specific) has lived up to the abuse. As Lusty points out, it's also pretty easy to replace individual parts.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: "mine hasn't"

          Yup, My DC14 is still going strong. Bought it in 2005 and ive replaced nothing. There has been a bit of epoxy and tape used on it in recent times - most of the damage has been caused by the kids using it as a horse.

          And unlike my dads metal beasty antique hoover it actually picks up from the carpet (I think my dads ancient hoover just makes the noise trying to convince you it is doing something)

          1. Stacy
            Thumb Down

            Re: "mine hasn't"

            I hear this at a lot... Are you really surprised that a hideously expensive cleaner lasts 5 to 7 years (with only a few repairs!) and you think that is good?

            Since 2000 I have brought two cleaners, less than 160gbp combined. They are both still going strong, one is now 12 years old and was only replaced as I moved into a house with parket floors and I didn't want to scratch them using the one with plastic wheels (so I got a Bosch Parket cleaner)... Neither have had repairs of any sort.

            I like the idea of the Dyson, but they cost twice what they should for what they are.

            1. Bassey

              Re: "mine hasn't"

              Yep, I'm with you on that one Stacy. I've had a Henry hoover for years. Nothing goes wrong with them. The parts, if required, are stupidly cheap and it only cost £80. But the main reason I use it is because it is so light. Dyson's just weigh half a ton. And because they are uprights, rather than cylinders, you have to move this half-ton mass back and forth all the time. I also hate the mess of emptying them. And others must agree as, whenever I see one, the cylinder is invariably full! Give me a decent bag-vac any time.

              They are hugely popular so I must be missing something but having used them a lot (in two businesses) I found them overly pricey, overly heavy, a pain in the backside to empty and they don't clean any better than any other decent brand cleaner.

              And as for "no loss of suction, ever" - give me a break. I'd love to know where the energy to keep that huge mass of dirt flying around the cylinder at high speed is coming from?

              Their hand-driers on the other hand - awesome!

              1. Stacy

                Re: "mine hasn't"

                That is a comment I have had about the Bosch from people I know with Dysons. How much have you spent on bags over those years (maybe 30 euros...) I don't know they cost very little for boxes of 5. Certainly not the 200 euro difference in cost!

                And yes.. The suction! With their innovative design it's like having 20% more power! And the ones with bags lose 20% suction! Even if I beleived that (our Bosch keeps going full tilt till it's really, really full or at least it still sucks up everything on the floor...) as the salesman tried to get me to when I got the Bosch instead of the Dyson at more than 3 times the price, it would still mean the Bosch at least suction had 20% more suction than the Dyson as it had a patheric motor in it.

                1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

                  Re: "mine hasn't"

                  Lucky you, my Bosh vacuum has been rubbish, yelling at it doesnt seem to make it want to pickup dirt.

                  Regretting replacing the previous Dyson which just worked for year and year and years until it fell down the staires :S


                  1. Stacy

                    Re: "mine hasn't"

                    Sorry to hear that... You have got the setting correct haven't you? (Mine runs on Eco 90% of the time, but never less)

                    My Panasonic (1st) and Bosch are great machines. When it does eventually die (no expecting it to for some time yet - barring stair issues ;p) it'll probably get replaced with the same Bosch machine again - a friend has the new version of it and is just as impressed as I am.

              2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                Re: "mine hasn't"

                I think there are Dysons of different sizes. You could get one of the smaller ones. But Dysons are jolly expensive and you could probably get satisfactory service from an inferior but cheaper machine. Disclaimer: I'm a man. And I don't have anything to do with Dyson, but I used to love watching [Tomorrow's World] on TV, with all the inventions.

                1. Stacy
                  Thumb Down

                  @ Robert

                  Cheaper does not mean inferior...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: going strong for several years.

      The switch broke?

  3. MJI Silver badge


    We have goods from both.

    I am not particularly happy with Dyson at the moment. My wife's washing machine is getting tatty but spares are getting difficult, it comes up with faults but we cannot afford the callout as it is on borrowed time anyway, we would spend the £100 or so then the bearing could fail the following day and we would have wasted it.

    We were considering Bosch as our fridge freezer, oven hob and car ECU are all Bosch, and reliable.

    1. goldcd

      I like both brands.

      Although I think Dyson stopped making their washing machines due to 'issues'

      All my kitchen stuff is Bosch - mainly as I noticed it never broke, so as each other brand died, a Bosch item appeared in its place.

      I've got a very old Dyson DC07 that's still going strong after... well I've no idea, but can't be too far off 10.

      I've happily replaced the odd hose here and there as they wore out. Motor finally packed in a couple of years ago, and I think I paid Dyson to come round and fix it - was only £20 more than the motor alone on ebay and looked a bit more of a job.

      Not only did they fix my motor, I got new replacement parts from the engineer for anything that looked 'worn' - including a new cylinder that they posted out as he didn't have one with him. One of those quite mind-bloggling bits of customer care that has ensured I'll bang on about how much I love Dyson at pretty much any opportunity

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: I like both brands.

        Our vacuum cleaner works well, had to slightly modify the foam filter as it was unwashably clogged.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          unwashably clogged

          that's pretty much how I feel - mentally speaking.

          It is extremely reassuring to know that your cleaner is working well - although I hope you haven't voided the warranty with your modifications! Well done!

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: unwashably clogged

            I removed the yellow plastic things filter, it was totally clogged and was not cleaning very well.

            It does mean I have to clean the other filters more, but I will stick a new one in sometime.

            Stripping the cyclone down every couple of years and airlining it clean helps a lot too.

            Our other vacuum cleaner has a bag, never replaced, as it is rarely used dry.

            Vax 4000 we use it 90% as a carpet washer, 9% drain unblocker, 1% I could not find the DC02. Also the only vacuum cleaner we have had which needed a holiday in a repair place (pump went).

            Dyson products are interesting technically, he makes good use of engineering plastics.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: unwashably clogged

              I can't decide whether you are for real.

              1. MJI Silver badge

                Re: unwashably clogged

                I am, but are you?

      2. James R Grinter

        Re: I like both brands.

        A rumour I read recently about the demise of the Dyson washing machines was that a supplier massively increased the cost of one of the key components and they just couldn't source another (bit skeptical about that.)

        Anyway.. sadly (because I have one too) Dyson are finally ending maintenance on them as of the end of this year as they say spares are now getting thin on the ground. Mine's been pretty good in the 8 years I've had it (no torn clothing or any of the other stories I've read), though the engineer has been out to repair it a few times (the door lock seems to be a particularly problematic part... it's just starting failing in a different way, fortunately before the deadline) - but each time the service has been excellent.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Washing machines

          It was the drum bearing, went up a LOT so they stopped making them.

          But since they cost a lot people do not like to throw them away.

          Ours is getting F13 but the water still gets hot, then spin is OK.

          I think we will be taking up the M-I-L offer of a new washing machine, but what do we get?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting

      Have I stumbled into the "Which" forums by mistake? I think the focus of this story is industrial espionage at one of the UK's most innovative companies rather than footling banality about domestic appliances - but I could be wrong.

      I also particularly like "My wife's washing machine" - what's the weather like in the 1950's?

      1. Thomas 4


        Damn straight. You know what this story needs to liven it up? A patent trial where Bosch and Dyson race to get each other's products banned while driving judges and jurors to drink.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: Have I stumbled into the "Which" forums?

        @enigmatix: Have I stumbled into the "Which" forums by mistake? I think the focus of this story is industrial espionage at one of the UK's most innovative companies rather than footling banality about domestic appliances ..

        I totally agree, it's like being stuck at a train-spotters convention. Now see what they've made me do, link to the Daily Mail ...

        "Dyson said it had discovered an email trail between its engineer, who worked at the firm’s design headquarters at Malmesbury, Wiltshire, and Dr Wolfgang Hirschburger, a vice president of engineering at Bosch" link

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: re: Have I stumbled into the "Which" forums?

          No but we do want clean carpets and clothes you know!

      3. MJI Silver badge

        Re: My wife's washing machine

        Well it is, it was a present from her mum, for her, therefore it is her washing machine.

  4. Pete 2

    > 15 years and £100 million developing high-speed brushless motors

    With such "world beating" technology, you'd think they would be more careful about protecting their designs - or do patent disputes only work for software?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd assume the particular piece of hardware wasn't finished and the magical world of real stuff it seems they tend to patent working products.

      On the other hand, this can't be true, we're always being told it's them "dirty yellow Chinese" types that are stealing all our industrial secrets, and last time I checked the Germans weren't the Chinese! Something must be wrong with this story...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        The alleged spy is in this case Chinese. It is also alleged that it was not only Bosch that were involved, info is alleged to have gone further East too.....

    2. Danny 14 Silver badge

      "With such "world beating" technology, you'd think they would be more careful about protecting their designs - or do patent disputes only work for software?"

      Isnt that the whole point of the court case?

  5. Mondo the Magnificent

    That sucks...

    ..but it's not uncommon for this type of industrial espionage to take place

    Someone I know owns a company that kicked off with a unique product that sold well put them on the market

    One day he received a call from a man claiming to represent a much larger competing company. This chap on the other side of the phone asked if he was speaking to the head of engineering. He replied, "yes you are". The caller said "I will pay you £250,000 for the blueprints of the product, no questions asked"

    My friend answered, "Well thanks for the offer but I own the company too" The caller hung up (And he's not heard anything since)

    He did enquire with the larger company but they claimed no-one with that name was employed by them.

    It seems that there are no scruples when it comes to gaining an edge in design..

    I hope Dyson wins, it's a great British product, designed and built in the UK and they have every right to be upset in the German competitor has received their IP via decietful means.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That sucks...

      Do they still make stuff here?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That sucks...

        (It said then the washing machines are UK, but that was a while ago)

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: That sucks...

        No, but after the manufacturing moved to the far East, they employed more people than they did before, but in higher paid jobs R&D jobs.

      3. MJI Silver badge

        Re: That sucks...

        Don't know, but they employ a lot more people now

        Pity they dropped out of the washing machine market

    2. JimC

      Re: That sucks...

      Yep, I was young and naive when the MD came into the Lab at the long defunct company where I was working, and we were failing to create a product to match our competitor's new wonder stuff for less than about twice the price per litre.

      "Jan", he said to a colleague, "you used to work for XYZ's. Who do you know there we can bribe to get the formula?"

      In the end they did something more creative: they hired an accounts clerk from the other company, and he knew what the magically cheap wonder ingredient was...

      1. Chris 242

        Re: That sucks...

        Industrial Espionage My Arse.

        Give employees the respect that comes with company loyalty together with a bit of job security.

        In the age of contractor IP leak, what do you expect! employee/contractor uses all his/her knowledge to provide solutions to the present companies problem. These solutions generally are from previous employment experiences.

        For the simple minded HR/Legal people.

        "Wot I saw/did/observed/recorded/developed generally are part of said individuals experience, experience has a value, this is why you are all so giggly when they appear for an interview from your competing company.

        In a nutshell, avoid IP leak by either respecting those "human resources" that created the IP in the first place

        or employ more legals than <Cox variety> after the fact!

  6. Marty

    nothing new....

    It SUCKS, but this sort of carry on has been going on since the invention of the vacuum cleaner.

    i'll get my coat !

  7. jai

    not actually denying it

    Bosch's comments don't exactly deny that they did receive confidential IP information, they're just stating that garden products and vacuum cleaners aren't the same things.

    Sounds a lot like the Chewbacca Defence to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not actually denying it

      "We didn't steal the electric motor design to put into vacuum cleaners or hand dryers like Dyson say, we stole it to put into garden equipment which is totally different."

  8. Allan 1

    I can't say

    I can't say that I have faith in Dyson products. The only Dyson product I ever owned (a vacuum cleaner) failed a few months after its warranty expired.

    Yet my BOSCH corded hammer drill must be at least 10 years old, and still going like a trooper. As is my BOSCH IXO, and my BOSCH fridge.

    Also, I suppose its totally inconcievable that BOSCH, with their multi-million £ R&D departments have the expertese to come up with similar design concepts independantly.

    1. Psyx

      Re: I can't say

      "I can't say that I have faith in Dyson products. The only Dyson product I ever owned (a vacuum cleaner) failed a few months after its warranty expired."

      Kerby are the best for vacuum cleaners. People think that Dyson are, but they're all hype and marketing. Kerby are the bees knees and have been for years, with a price tag to match.

      1. ToddR

        Re: I can't say

        Oh dear I can feel the late night call of a Kerby sales pitch

      2. firefly

        Re: I can't say

        Ah yes Kirbys. As faithfull to Murray Spangler's original pillow case and fan design as you can get. Love the way all the dirt has to go through the fan and that lovely grinding noise you get when if you happen to suck up a coin. Not to mention the dusting you have to do after you've finished vacuuming because ninety percent of what you've sucked up has been blown back into the room.

      3. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

        Re: I can't say

        Is that the cleaner that weighs 50kg ?

        1. Hardcastle the ancient

          Re: I can't say

          Kirby: 1930s design, 1940s build quality, 1960s pressure marketing

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: I can't say

            So a dyson comes with a 5 year guarantee and costs £200, for a £1000 kirby you could have 25 years of vacuuming.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I can't say

            @Hardcastle.. and take a look at their website... the landing page displays..

            Hello world!

            Posted on: August 27th, 2012 by kirby

            Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

            Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

            Hello World WTF.. did they sack their webmaster or something :s

        2. Psyx
          Thumb Up

          Re: I can't say

          "Is that the cleaner that weighs 50kg ?"

          That's the one! Never said it was portable, a breeze to maintain, or looks good; just that it sucks up dirt well!!

    2. ToddR

      Re: I can't say

      Shite at sucking up dirt though

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: I can't say

      Our vacuum cleaner is not that new and works well (Dyson)

      The CR01 or 02 is about 10 years old, and limps along.

      The Fridge Freezer (Bosch) is about 14 years old but the door handles have gone brittle.

    4. JohnG

      Re: I can't say

      My experience is the exact opposite.

      I have owned a Dyson cleaner for about 6 years. It works flawlessly and I haven't had to replace anything.

      I had a Bosch fridge on which the controller board failed a few months after purchase - the board was replaced under warranty. I later discovered that the defrost feature did not work. A friend had a similar Bosch fridge which had exactly the same faults, although in his case, the defrost heater element started a fire inside the fridge.

      I had a Bosch washer/dryer which had a motor failure (under warranty), a pump failure (not under warranty) but the coup de grace was a controller board failure.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will Apple be next in line?

    Rounded corners can, after all, be construed as a derivation of the sphere. And as everyone knows, this is owned by Dyson.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will Apple be next in line?

      this story is about industrial espionage not patents but don't stop the jokes coming - they're hilarious

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will Apple be next in line?

      > Rounded corners can, after all, be construed as a derivation of the sphere. And as everyone knows, this is owned by Dyson.

      Uh....that's a different Dyson. Freeman rather than James.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Will Apple be next in line?

        I think he means the ballbarrow not the other chap!

        Or if he does, learn you Dysons, James is the engineer, and Freeman is Gordons dad.

  10. Alan Bourke

    Is it just me

    or are there some Bosch staff on here?

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Is it just me

      Don't think so.

      I am disappointed at the espionage.

      Had products from both happy with both except for the washing machine near EOL and disintegrating fridge freezer plastics

  11. Stevie Silver badge


    Motors that spin so fast they melt the components they drive (like the carpet beater). Plastic components that are barely fit-for-purpose and fail (like the coupling that connects the wand to the flexible hose). Components that are designed to look good first and perform as they can a distant second (like the chest-expander hose that requires serious effort to use and collapses violently with potentially dangerous effects if a hard vacuum forms in the tube).

    And the clear dirt container on my DC25 was sandblasted into opaqueness by real dirt in less than a week. I dunno what that woman on the TV ads is cleaning with hers but I speculate it is a chip-fab clean room or the lab where Attenborough's scientists insert DNA into frog cells to make dinosaurs.

    No loss of suction, but if you live in a real house the carpet beater will clog so fast in use the suction is immaterial. No path for the dirt means no cleaning power and I spend more time removing and unclogging that one component than actually cleaning in any given session. Clean the curtains and expect to get body-checked by the vacuum cleaner as it charges across the room for a hug or dives down the stairs in an impressive kamikaze attack.

    I also think things should just work Mr Dyson.

    As for those f-tarded hand dryers which leave so little room between the plates that one's once-clean hands inevitably come into contact with the not-clean inner surface of the device: you can keep the overpriced things.

    And the "annoying beat effect" you speak of with respect to ordinary electric fans while pushing yours on TV? Is it detectable with anything less than NASA-supplied audio equipment? No-one I've ever asked has so much as an inkling of what the hell you are wittering about, but we just use our ears and skins when it comes to electric fans.

    Just a thought: Have you paid anyone a royalty for the cyclone separator idea you nicked from other industries?

    1. Lusty

      Re: Bah!

      "or dives down the stairs"

      Your instruction manual would have said to place the vacuum at the BOTTOM of the stairs and use the extending hose to reach the top. This method works perfectly and prevents damage to you and your vacuum. RTFM

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        My instruction manual SAYS nothing because it is just a cartoon - presumably the numpties they expect to buy these things have no brain capacity left over for reading after filling their heads with Dyson Love.

        The machine is dangerous and not fit for purpose in the real world. Do yourself a favour and buy a Hoover. Or an Electrolux. Or pretty much anything but these overpriced yuppie toys.

        Were I to do as you suggest (as indeed I have) I would discover the "18 foot" long hose (per the box blurb) that came with my DC 25 is in fact only capable of about 14 feet of extension and only them if I brace myself against the pull of the internal spring that makes the hose pretty but less-than-functional.

        This will eventually result in the two tiny plastic tabs which attach the hose to the pretty clicky thing that goes into the attachments to fail as they simply cannot stand such strain for long. The only way to not have this happen is to not pull the hose out too far. experiment shows that the actual useful no-danger length of the hose is about three and a half feet. When it does, you get the pleasure of forking over for a new hose because Dyson doesn't make the components separately available. I "repaired" mine with a piece of aluminum and duct tape, because without the hose the vacuum cleaner is useless for real house cleaning.

        Should the stretched hose form the aforementioned hard vacuum by maybe sucking up a curtain while one is attempting to pull the hose out to a decent length, the cleaner will attempt to climb the stairs for a hug. Actual verified and repeatable case here. Of course, the vacuum isn't a light affair and when this happens, if one isn't actually properly prepared with both feet anchored and one's body leaning away from it one can be pulled abruptly down the stairs.

        You clearly don't own one of these useless machines, or if you do you never use the bloody thing. I don't blame you for that. I wish I didn't have to use mine.

        And as a rival vacuum cleaner firm is saying in the press of late: Why make a bagless cleaner if you only have to empty the dirt into a bag anyway? Far less messy to toss a bag, they say, and having used the Dyson now for a couple of years I have to agree. Emptying the canister is a major pain unless all that is in there is popcorn or (clean) cat-litter like on the adverts. Get some hair wound round the central drum and enjoy the process to the full as you dismantle the entire thing to get the filth out (and all over the place in the process).

        RTFM? STFU.

        1. Lusty

          Re: Bah!

          "You clearly don't own one of these useless machines, or if you do you never use the bloody thing"

          No, I have an older model, used weekly for around 10 years. The hose on mine reaches the top of the stairs in every house I've lived in (5 in the life of the vacuum so far) and works perfectly. I can only assume you have a faulty vacuum (in which case Dyson will sort it) or you're using it incorrectly, perhaps pictures were not straightforward enough for you?

          I've also never had the hose collapse, although I'll confess I don't have curtains at the top of the stairs but below the top floor (you have an unusual house?!)

          As for emptying, I find this incredibly easy and mess free. Put the cylinder in the bin then pull the trigger and the dirt falls into the bin. The reason bags were removed is down to loss of suction, and the mess caused when they rip or accidentally get squeezed after removal and squirt the dirt all over your house.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Bah!

            Ours is fine too, just needs a new foam filter base

            So far I have had to strip and clean the cyclone once in all the time we had it, why we got it is funny.

            My wife wanted a Dyson we had a DC02 (I think, now in garage, power head worn out, but fine for car), her mum bought a purple newer model, but it gave her back ache as the metal pipe was too short. So she bought something else and my wife grabbed the Dyson.

            My wife then extended the metal pipe and it was fine.

            We still use it.

            3 Dyson products, support can be good, but as before the washing machine is on borrowed time.

            I am disappointed with Bosch, they are good enough to do this them selves, why espionage?

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: Borrowed time

              Just had a letter from Dyson today, no more support from mid December, no spares from end of December and an offer of £50 off at Comet if you pay more than £450.

              OK El Reg, can we have washing machine reviews please?

              Oh and the M-I-L has offered to pay - again.

        2. G7mzh

          Re: Bah!

          I've got a Dyson upright - no idea of the number.

          It doesn't get used much because neither I nor my partner can lift the thing. Once we've unravelled the peculiar hose/handle/switch (why the hell doesn't it turn off when you stand it up again? and why do you have to stand on the FRONT to pivot the handle?)), the suction is so powerful it keeps trying to suck the hose back into its body.

          You can't beat tne Hoover Constellation (the round ones) - had one for years, never gave any problem.

      2. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        "Your instruction manual would have said to place the vacuum at the BOTTOM of the stairs and use the extending hose to reach the top."

        My dyson has that on a sticker too.

    2. Elmer Phud

      Re: Bah!

      Seen our Henry do the stair-dive - and lay on its back, wheels in the air still happily sucking away.

      (Many spare parts from skips as contract cleaners chuck out good stuff.)

      Smiley - 'cos that's what the front of the Henry looks like

      1. Mike Brown
        Thumb Up

        Re: Bah!

        Tve got a hennretta, awesome vacum cleaner. There is a very good reason why the vast majority of hotels use them.

        1. Nev Silver badge

          Re: Bah!

          " There is a very good reason why the vast majority of hotels use them."

          The hotels whore them out to guests?

        2. firefly

          Re: Bah!

          Henrys are great machines that will go on forever but like any suction-only cleaner they're utter shite at cleaning carpet due to the lack of a brush/beater bar. Yes I know you can get a power head as an option but I've never seen one in the wild.

      2. Hardcastle the ancient

        Re: Henry

        Best Vac. I've ever bought.

  12. Mike Richards

    World beating

    I trust that's world beating as it sweeps as it cleans. God I'm getting old.

    I've got one of the Dyson fans (or air multipliers as they wankily like to call them). I dunno about the hi-techtitude of the brushless motors but they sound like Concorde starting up on a cold morning.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: World beating

      Hoover did, in those days, beat as it sweeps as it cleans.

      Old. You and me both.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: World beating

        Ahh, the old hoover senior..

        A rotating brush bar was fitted to most 70's vacuum cleaners, then they seemed to dissapear, only to reappear years later and be touted as an "add on". Only expensive vacuum cleaners have a rotating brush these days. It's a con to sell you something "new" that had been around for 20 years.....

        Like poor quality digitally compressed TV. Analouge was a far better picture than the shit we get to today (unless you have HD and its associated costs)..

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: World beating

          At first digital was much better, then they started slashing the bit rate.

          1. Vic

            Re: World beating

            > At first digital was much better

            No it wasn't. Digital TV has passed through a lossy compressor; the "gold standard" of that is to get it indistinguishable from the uncompressed analogue feed.

            > then they started slashing the bit rate.

            That makes it worse, sure.


            [Who has built quite a few digital TV systems around the world...]

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: World beating

              If digital is worse why was digital TV better at picture than analogue.

              I did the head to head quite a few years ago. TV was widescreen and IDTV.

              BBC1 on 1 was clear, detailed, looked like a DVD.

              BBC1 on 91 was noisy, not widescreen, even with edge enhancement lowered it looked poorer.

              Definately not as good now as when it was first introduced, when they still used bit rates at DVD level.

              1. Vic

                Re: World beating

                > If digital is worse why was digital TV better at picture than analogue.

                It wasn't.

                > BBC1 on 91 was noisy

                Then you had a poor signal. Analogue TV will always degrade with signal loss, whereas digital can cover it.

                But if you sort the signal out, the analogue picture quality is better because it is the same souirce, but uncompressed, whereas the digital signal has been through a lossy compressor.


                1. MJI Silver badge

                  Re: World beating

                  Same aerial same transmitter.

                  Analogue was not as great as people thought, what is broadcast is NOT what is transferred around in the studios,

                  Digital definately looked better, much better colour, resolution was similar.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: HD TV

          I receive 4 HD channels which cost me nothing more than the TV license I am required to pay for anyway.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A New Generation of Electric Motor?

    Sounds more impressive than A Minor Enhancement of Electric Motor.

  14. Ned Ryason
    Thumb Up

    I can say

    Dyson customer service has been a model to note in my experience. Recently my venerable DC03 gave up the ghost after 15 years of sucking, i think i replaced the filters 4 or 5 times in that entire period. I called the Dyson helpline, they were very apologetic, but given the age of the machine, they could no longer provide any support. Instead they offered me £100.00 (yes One Hundred pounds) off any new machine on the website. Once i had picked myself up off the floor i chose a new model and paid over the phone. New machine arrived 2 days later and they took the old one away too, not bad. New machine ( a DC39 with a ball thing) sucks like a god, but will probably not be around in 15 years time.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: I can say

      Well we would get our washing machine checked but how long before the drum bearing fails and it is scrap.

      Never needed support for the vacuums, I just strip and clean occasionally and they keep going.

  15. NomNomNom

    well i thought all the german spies were caught during the war. question is why have they waited so long and why have they gone after cyclone technology? the second question is how could cyclone technology be allowed to fall into the wrong hands? freeman dyson has a lot to answer for he should never have allowed cyclone technology to be advertised on tv. i always thought watching those adverts: shhhhhhhhhh. now looks what happens. Meanwhile the politicians are worried about nuclear technology in iran but noone is focusing on the real threat of cyclone technology in germany.

    1. MJI Silver badge


      A common concept, been used for Diesel loco air filters, JD saw it on wood saws.

      James Dyson is VERY good at thinking of new uses for established ideas. The cyclone vacuum cleaner is so obvious once you see one, but he produced one first.

  16. Archivist

    Up your's Bosch

    11 years ago I had a Bosch fridge-freezer which failed expensively (uneconomical to repair) just outside warranty. As I'd heard of several similar failures, I decided to investigate the problem myself, and came to the same conclusion as their service engineer - that the controller PCB had failed.

    However on closer inspection and with little more than schoolboy maths it was obvious that the PCB copper area that they'd allowed for sinking heat from the voltage regulator was insufficient. This had led to catastrophic failure of the processor - along with it's embedded program.

    An email to the European CEO with the calculations and explanation got a new fridge-freezer delivered by Bosch themselves a few days later.

    In case you're wondering, I did check the new fridge-freezer's controller PCB and they'd redesigned it, so obviously they'd known all along.

    Company's can be bastards - or they can be fair. Bosch only did the right thing only when pushed, so I've steered clear of them (where possible) since. I know they make some good stuff but they've lost my custom.

  17. Pypes

    I used to think dyson was a prick...

    He sold overpriced bright plastic tat, was far too patent happy and often succumbed to not-invented-here syndrome (basically the steve jobs of domestic appliances)

    Then I brought one for my mother.

    They are simply objectively better machines, the amount of thought put into the ergonomics of every little feature is palpable, they are bag-less and have washable filters, they clean better and pretty much anything you could conceivably break is user replaceable. The guy is trying to sell you not only a vac for life, but the best vac he can possibly build. You could use the thing every day for a year and still find some new ingenious little feature that makes you stop and marvel at how much effort has gone into the device.

    I've tended towards thinking that the people who complain loudly that theirs exploded after 2 weeks when they tried to suck up a single mote of dust (of which there seem to be no shortage) are the engineering equivalent of people who stick there PC out on the kerb the first time windows fails to boot, having spent the last 6 months installing every dodgy browser toolbar and search assistant they could get their hands on.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: I used to think dyson was a prick...

      What he said, except I never thought he was a prick, just someone who worked and worked at an idea until he got it to work.

      The only thing wrong with my ball Dyson is that I got the small one designed for flats, rather than the big one for houses. So the lead and hose is a a bit short.

      By Christ, it's a good vacuum cleaner though. 5 years old, still running well.

      Now nicked my parents big ball one (too heavy for the AP's), and that's even better!

  18. G R Goslin

    Re - I used to think dyson was a prick...

    I still do. I always get the heaves when I see all that garish plastic and complicated shapes. As for innovation, the cyclone priciple was known about for donkey's years prior to it's use in the household vacuum cleaner.. Woodworking factories always had a huge one outside to separate wood dust and shavings from the vacuum pipes from the machines, and it's cousin, the hydrocyclone was used to great effect at removing metal and abrasive dust from the coolant flows on grinding machines. For myself, I'm still using a Hoover vacuum cleaner that was possibly manufactured before the war. And it still beats as it sweeps as it cleans

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Re: Re - I used to think dyson was a prick...

      "As for innovation, the cyclone priciple was known about for donkey's years prior to it's use in the household vacuum cleaner.. "

      Ah yes, the traditional application of that age-old Hindsight Obviousness Principle: it was used in markets C through F for "donkey's years", so its use in market A must have been "obvious" and the fact that nobody else appears to have actually done so, despite said claims for "obviousness" is utterly irrelevant.

      There's a big difference between knowing a particular set of technologies might work in a different market, given substantial R&D to work out the kinks, and actually putting your damned money where your mouth is, taking the gamble, doing that expensive R&D work, then designing, marketing and selling the new product.

      Dyson didn't just buy in some off-the-shelf components and nail them into a box. A lot of design and research has gone into their products. (Yes, their marketing gets hyperbolic, but then, so does Ford's. And you wouldn't believe the industrial quantities of bullshit the likes of Beiersdorf get away with. They make even Apple's marketing look humble by comparison.)

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Nobody else hassactually done so...

        Evidently there were no cyclone vacuum cleaners before James Dyson brought one out. He then immediately had imitators to deal with using patents, which he did successfully as far as I know. That's what patents are for. He'd invented the deceptively simple ball wheelbarrow and apparently got shafted by American manufacturers, so he reasonably has a grim determination to not have that happen again, unless I'm thinking of somebody else. The television advert actually explains how all of the bits are patented so that no one else can legally make a vacuum cleaner just like those. Although some of those patents must be expired or expiring?

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Re - I used to think dyson was a prick...

      But unlike you he made the connection and worked for a long time to make it work.

  19. Esskay

    Obviously insignificant

    Why is this even an issue?! I mean a bespoke piece of machinery, developed over 15 years after 100 million is invested into it is hardly a cause for a patent dispute.

    If, on the other hand, we were dealing with a slide-to-unlock hose unplugging mechanism "on a mobile device"(cos it's got wheels, natch), then I'd fully understand vast amounts of money being spent to ban everyone else who used anything that seemed even remotely similar, despite how brain-numbingly obvious such a system is.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A note to the editor

    Judging by the comments on this thread, I think it's high time for some domestic appliances reviews and these should address long term ownership issues: spare parts, reliability, filter clogging statistics and so on. Washing machines and vacuum cleaners (but there's not /actual/ vacuum of course!!) seem to enjoy a particular resonance with the El Reg readership but I don't see why you should be limited to just those types - think of the page views and potential new ad revenue streams!!

  21. pig

    I don't get the fuss

    My Vacuum is a Bissell.

    I'd never heard of them but it was £30 from Asda.

    It was £150 cheaper then the Dyson.

    It is a year old now and it still sucks up dirt.

    It sounds like a jet engine, and it doesn't have typhoons or a ball or anything. But it works.

    I'm not sure I need or want anything more in a Vacuum.

  22. Clive Harris

    Getting spares for Dyson products

    Are you able to get spare parts for Dyson products? I'm told that over here in Australia they have a policy of refusing to supply spares to customers. I don't have any Dyson products myself, but one of my colleagues experienced this problem recently. This is done on the spurious grounds that "only a licenced electrician is allowed to repair a vacuum cleaner". That may possibly be true in some states - there are some rather crazy laws around here - but Australians are not renowned for being law-abiding (That's why most of us are here!). It's more likely an excuse to jack up the cost of repairs. If spares are freely available in the UK then there probably a good "grey market" opportunity for some enterprising UK person to supply parts to Australian users.

  23. G7mzh

    We've had electric motors for over 100 years.

    How different can you make one?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: We've had electric motors for over 100 years.

      you're asking the wrong question

      the question you should ask is: "I need an electric motor to work better in a certain way or under a different set of constraints, how can I do that?"

      then if you succeed in solving that problem, you have a novel (re)invention to exploit.

  24. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Bosch have form

    I remember reading that in the early days of automobile electrics Bosch stole the magneto design from a British(?) inventor. I can't find any trace of this story on the interwebs, so it may be complete nonsense, or it may have been ruthlessly suppressed.

    I used to own a Dyson. It broke down quite frequently, and my cleaner hated it because it was heavy and not very efficient. When it finally expired she recommended a Miele, which is easy to use, light, compact and reliable, without being a radical design.

    Am I the only one who thinks James Dyson is the Steve jobs of vacuum cleaners?

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