Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has advised longstanding client Dyson Limited in successfully challenging the European Union rules on energy labelling for vacuum cleaners. The ruling by the European General Court was announced today.

 

EU labelling requirements mandated that vacuum cleaners be tested when empty, so flattering bagged cleaners that lose suction as dust and dirt clogs the machine. This is unfairly masking Dyson’s famous cyclonic technology that retained suction no matter how full the receptacle.

 

Before the General Court, Dyson showed that the 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.  Under the same conditions, Dyson’s machines stayed just as energy efficient. The General Court found that EU labelling regulations should measure vacuum cleaner performance under real usage conditions, which included taking account any deterioration in performance as the bag filled with dust. Because the Commission had disregarded its duty to take account of real usage conditions, the labelling regulation was annulled in its entirety. 

 

Advising Dyson were Partner Bill Batchelor (from Skadden Brussels) with Counsel Melissa Healy, supported by Associates Agapi Patsa and Bethan Lukey from Baker McKenzie's Brussels office.

 

Commenting on the case, Baker McKenzie's Counsel Melissa Healy said: "The judgement represents a significant victory for Dyson, in what has been a long-running legal dispute. It is one of the few times where an EU regulation has been annulled entirely. We're delighted to have advised Dyson along the way and pleased to see the Court ruling in their favour today."

 

The case is Case T 544/13 RENV Dyson Ltd v Commission https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2018-11/cp180168en.pdf

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