Dyson Launches 'Corporate Spy' Action
Dyson has launched High Court proceedings accusing a German rival of planting a mole within its high-security research and development department.
The British engineering firm, behind bag-less vacuum cleaners and the Airblade hand dryers, claims Bosch was handed secrets by an individual for up to two years.
The alleged rogue employee, who is reportedly Chinese, is said to have worked at Dyson's facility in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.
It is said the spy was one of 100 engineers working on Dyson digital motors, which are key to the firm's cordless technology and Airblades.
The company claims secrets were also passed to Bosch's Chinese motor manufacturer and that Bosch's vice president Dr Wolfgang Hirschburger was aware of the engineer's employment.
Bosch Group, which has its UK headquarters in Middlesex and develops automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, declined to comment.
Dyson believes Bosch paid the mole through an unincorporated "business" created specifically for this purpose.
Mark Taylor, Dyson research and development director, said: "We have spent over 15 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."