James solved the problem of diminishing vacuum performance by saying goodbye to the bag. But when he took his idea to the major manufacturers, one by one they turned him away. Clogging or not, the bag was a huge money-spinner for their machines. And they were more interested in profits – not progress.
Forced to go it alone, James had to rely on his inventiveness yet again to turn cyclonic separation into a commercially viable product. His idea would first hit shelves in Japan under the trade name ‘G-Force’. 15 years later, James used the royalties from these sales to set up his own company. And finally began selling Dyson technology under the Dyson name.
But this success also brought unwanted consequences. Seeing the mistake they had now made, Hoover, one of the manufacturers that had rejected James's idea, changed their mind on his technology. And copied it.
For Dyson, the choice was clear – we had to stand and fight. So in 1999, we sued Hoover for infringing our patents. The following year, the court settled in our favour, awarding £4 million in damages and taking Hoover's machine off the shelves.
It wasn't just a victory for innovation. It was a victory for perseverance and the protection of our competitive advantage. And this relentless fighting spirit against the copycats is still a part of Dyson today.