Big Story 10

Dyson loses EU court battle, but ruling criticizes BSH labels

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - The European Court of Justice rejected British vacuum maker Dyson’s claims that EU energy labels should display testing conditions, but also said German competitor BSH may be wrong to display additional energy labels on its products.

Dyson, founded by entrepreneur James Dyson, said other cleaners became less energy efficient as their bags filled with dust, unlike its bagless cleaner. It argued that BSH was misleading consumers by not indicating that energy performance tests were carried out with empty bags.

Since 2014, all vacuum cleaners sold in the EU are required to have standardized labels about their energy use.

The EU’s top court ruled that testing conditions did not affect the energy efficiency rating label for vacuum cleaners and they should not be added.

“The directive and the regulation must be interpreted as meaning that no information relating to the conditions under which the energy efficiency of vacuum cleaners was measured may be added to the energy label,” the court said.

However, the court criticized BSH, which makes appliances for the Bosch and Siemens brands, for using additional labels to indicate the energy consumption of its products, such as adding an orange sticker saying “AAAA Best rated”.

“Using a distinct graphic could give the impression that they convey different information,” the court said, adding it was up to regional courts to decide whether or not such display risked misleading consumers.

Dyson and BSH have long been at odds. In 2015, Dyson sparked a court battle when its founder said that cleaners made by Bosch and Siemens drew more power in actual use in the home than they did in laboratory tests, and likened the matter to the Volkswagen diesel-emissions scandal in the United States.

BSH rejected the allegations and challenged Dyson in court over the remarks.

Reporting by Julia Echikson