Dyson sues after discovering German 'spy' on its staff
ENGINEERING group Dyson has discovered a spy for its German rival Bosch working in its high-security inventing department in Malmesbury.
The British engineering group claims a rogue employee in its digital motors facility was handing company secrets to Bosch divisions in the UK and in Germany.
Bosch "paid the mole via an unincorporated "business" created specifically for this purpose,", Dyson has claimed.
When Dyson asked for information to be returned, Bosch allegedly “refused to engage”.
Dyson has today filed proceedings against Bosch in the High Court in London.
The company has fingered Bosch's vice president for engineering as the alleged mole's contact. In a statment Dyson said: "Bosch Vice President, Dr Hirschburger, was aware of the engineer’s employment at Dyson. Dyson has confronted Bosch with evidence of wrongdoing but it have refused to return the technology. Nor has it promised not to use the technology for its benefit, forcing Dyson to take legal action."
Mark Taylor, Dyson Research and Development Director, added: “Bosch’s Vice President for engineering employed a Dyson engineer and benefitted from our confidential know-how and expertise. We have spent over fifteen years and £100m developing high-speed brushless motors, which power our vacuum cleaners and Airblade hand dryers. We are demanding the immediate return of our intellectual property.”
employee, who is thought to be Chinese, worked for the 100-strong special unit for two years. Tasked with forming and testing all of Dyson’s new ideas and development, the division is known as the nerve centre of the British company which has a total of 750 engineers working in Malmesbury. The security is said to be high - access to the buildings is protected by finger-print technology.
Dyson claimed Bosch's Chinese operations were also passed Dyson secrets.
Dyson says its digital motors are key to the company's success. Using so-called digital impulse technology, pioneered by founder Sir James Dyson, the motors are able to spin five times faster than a Formula One racing car at 104,000rpm. They have fuelled the success of Dyson's cordless vacuum cleaners and the Dyson Airblade hand dryer.
The company has fought hard against attempts by foreign firms to copy its products. The Dyson Air Multiplier fan has seen around 500 infringements in over thirty countries of the past two years, Dyson said.
Louise Amistead, Telegraph.co.uk