Vacuum Companies End Epic Battle Over Which Sucks More

Dyson, SharkNinja agree to dismiss lawsuits
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 21, 2016 6:05 PM CDT
Vacuum Companies End Epic Battle Over Which Sucks More
A Dyson, left, and SharkNinja upright vacuum cleaners are positioned together at the retail location in Braintree, Mass., Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.    (Charles Krupa)

Two of the most well-known names in vacuum cleaners have ended a two-year legal battle over just how much their products suck, the AP reports. Dyson, the British technology company known for its upscale vacuums, and SharkNinja Operating LLC, a Massachusetts-based company known for its infomercials and lower-priced vacuums, had sued each other over advertising campaigns in which they claimed their vacuums had significantly more suction or were better at deep-cleaning. Each company accused the other of violating state and federal laws through false and misleading advertising. A trial was set to begin Monday in federal court in Boston, but late Thursday, the companies filed a notice in court saying both sides had agreed to dismiss their claims. Both companies agreed to pay their own legal fees and costs and declined to discuss the decision to withdraw the lawsuits.

The battle began in 2014, when attorneys for SharkNinja sent a letter to Dyson saying it planned to introduce a new vacuum—the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright—that would make Dyson's claim that some of its vacuums had "twice the suction power of any other vacuum" on the market" false. Dyson acknowledged that its claim became false once Lift-Away came out, but insisted it took prompt steps to eliminate the "twice the suction" advertising from the market, including spending nearly $1 million to replace packaging. But SharkNinja sued, saying Dyson dragged its feet, hindering sales and market growth of Shark's Lift-Away vacuum. Dyson filed counterclaims against SharkNinja over an upright stick vacuum known as the Rocket introduced in September 2013. The product packaging box for the Rocket included a promotional statement claiming it "deep cleans carpets better vs. a full size Dyson." A footnote said the claim referred to only one Dyson vacuum, but Dyson argued in court filings that the footnote was too small and inconspicuous. (More vacuum cleaners stories.)

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