Dyson 'hit by Chinese criminals'

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Dyson has just launched two new vacuum cleaners and seen its turnover hit £1bn for the first time thanks to its diversification into bladeless fans, but has complained that it is being targeted by Chinese counterfeiters.

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The British firm claims that its profits are being hit by criminals making and selling lookalike models.

A source at the company told the Daily Telegraph that the knock-off designs were being sold "within weeks" of Dyson's innovative bladeless fan and heating devices being launched.

The company is reported to have launched 20 legal cases to protect its intellectual property.

Dyson recently won a case against the manufacturer of Vax and Dirt Devil machines in France, but lost a similar case in the UK.

And the company's founder Sir James Dyson has apparently asked PM David Cameron to stiffen up the law on intellectual copyright.

The company's new vacuums - the DC38 and DC39 - extend its popular "ball" technology into cylinder models. They have a complicated design that crams more than 100 components into the ball itself to enable the cleaner's entire body to articulate.

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