In 2012, Dyson filed the highest number of patents in the UK. But while being first lasts forever, being the only one doesn't last so long. With every convention-defying technology we bring to a new product category, it's only ever a matter of time before our competitors respond.
Our innovation is a huge target on our backs, a call to arms to our rivals that says ‘this is the new benchmark, now match it.’ And while we will never stop seeking new ideas, they're just as committed to knocking us down.
Some of our competitors choose to keep pace with what we do by copying what we do. As a result, protecting our ideas is a constant battle for our Intellectual Property team. Over the last two decades, they've fought off countless attempts to steal Dyson patents. And as we venture into yet more new product categories, we're not anticipating a let-up from the copycats anytime soon.
Patents involve a risky game of timing. With just 20 years of exclusivity granted, filing a patent too early in the development process means eating into this precious time while the technology is proven production-ready. It's why we try to file our patents as late as possible. But in doing so, we increase the chance of our ideas leaking to a competitor.
That's why we're so secretive. A special pass is needed to get into all Dyson offices, while our RDD areas are strictly off limits to non-engineers. Sharing our intellectual property on a need-to-know basis is what it takes to stay ahead.
Everyone at Dyson plays their part. There's a company-wide pride of ownership in our technologies and ideas. And protecting them is as much a part of our fighting spirit as the perseverance it takes to conceive them in the first place.