We-Vibe's Parent Company Initiates Patent Suit

Rhett Pardon

HOUSTON — The parent company of We-Vibe has filed a patent infringement suit against LELO for selling products too similar to its U-shaped designs.

Concurrently, We-Vibe's parent company, Ottawa-based Standard Innovation Corp., has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) seeking an order that would halt shipments of the LELO products into the U.S.

The two actions relate to the alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,931,605, which has been issued to Standard Innovation.

The patent, titled “Electro-Mechanical Sexual Stimulation Device to be Worn During Intercourse,” relates to "a device for use by a female for sexual stimulation comprising an inner arm dimensioned for insertion into a vagina, to contact the wall of the vagina at or near the G-spot, an outer arm dimensioned to contact the clitoris and a resilient U-shaped member connecting the inner and outer arms."

In the suit, Standard Innovation claims that LELO has been importing and marketing similar devices that infringe on the patent. The suit cited LELO's Manaha and Tiana couples massagers as examples.

Worn by women, the We-Vibe “couple device” has been a sensation for several years. It was presented in gift bags at the 2009 and 2010 Oscars and at the 2010 Super Bowl. The company said it has sold more than 2 million of the devices.

Standard Innovation seeks monetary damages and injunction from the suit filed at U.S. District Court in Houston.

The USITC complaint, which seeks to block the products from retail shelves, names scores of top adult retailers as respondents.

The USITC is a quasi-judicial agency that has the power to block imports of products that violate U.S. patent rights. If it agrees to investigate the complaint, it typically completes its work in 16 to 19 months.

Companies listed as respondents to the complaint include Natural Contours Europe, Bushman Products, Evolved Novelties Inc., Nalpac Enterprises Ltd., Eldorado Trading Company Inc., Williams Trading Co. Inc., Honey's Place Inc., Lover's Lane & Co., Adam & Eve, Castle Megastore Group, Shamrock 51 Management Company Inc., Paris Intimates,  Drugstore.com, Peekay Inc., Lion's Den Adult, Fascinations, Deja vu and Toys in Babeland.

Danny Osadca, Standard Innovation's CEO, said in a statement that “the lawsuit is another legal remedy for protecting our valuable intellectual property.”  

LELO officials did not immediately respond for XBIZ comment.