When Dyson found EU regulations favoured bagged rival vacuum cleaners over its famous vortex cyclonic technology, it turned to Baker McKenzie’s EU litigators for help.  The EU regulation mandated vacuum cleaners be tested when empty, so flattering bagged cleaners that lose suction as dust and dirt clogs the machine.  And unfairly masking Dyson’s cyclonic technology that retained suction no matter how full the receptacle. 

Working with expert evidence, the Baker McKenzie team found traditional bagged vacuum cleaners dropped their EU mandated energy ratings by up to three energy classes when tested using real usage conditions, as the bag filled with dust.  Dyson’s machines stayed just as energy efficient.  The EU mandated test was misleading when tested under real world conditions.

Despite an early adverse ruling from a lower court, Dyson today prevailed before the EU Court of Justice.  The Court unequivocally held that true-to-life testing, where technically possible, must be used by Commission regulations: “a method of calculation which makes it possible to measure the energy performance of vacuum cleaners in conditions as close as possible to actual conditions of use, requiring the vacuum cleaner's receptacle to be filled to a certain level.”

“We’re proud to have worked with the hard working and dedicated legal and test engineering team at Dyson,” said Bill Batchelor, who with counsel Melissa Healy, lead the litigation on the case.  “When you are asked to judicially review an EU law, you know the odds are against you,” added Healy, “the EU courts almost always refuse to interfere in the EU’s legislative discretion. But we were convinced that Dyson had a strong case on these facts, which we’re pleased to see validated today.”

The case is Case C‑44/16 P, Dyson v Commission ECLI:EU:C:2017:357

The Baker McKenzie lawyers working on the case were Bill Batchelor, Melissa Healy and Agapi Patsa.

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