TRENTON, N.J. — The parent company of TROJAN has been accused of breaching a contract with a sex toy and novelty distributor in an effort to move beyond its line of vibrating rings and into a full line of adult sex toys.
The lawsuit, filed last week at U.S. District Court in Trenton, N.J., alleges that Sawhorse Enterprise CEO Dr. Sandor Gardos met in 2006 with officials from Church & Dwight, TROJAN's parent company, to discuss the launch of an entire TROJAN-branded adult sexual toy line, including everything from design and packaging to marketing copy and segmentation.
San Bruno, Calif.-based Sawhorse, operator of sex toy retail site MyPleasure.com, developed numerous products for Church & Dwight, including dozens of designs and new prototypes for vibrators and other sexual enhancement aids, the suit said.
But, in the end, Church & Dwight execs offered licensing for only one "token" product, a finger vibrator.
"Sawhorse provided Church & Dwight with not just the production capacity but also a complete supply chain and complex transport and import protocols and procedures that far exceeded those needed for the one product Church & Dwight ultimately acquired legitimately from Sawhorse," the suit said.
The suit noted that Sawhorse relied on a "promised partnership," expending significant time and effort to move from the concept phase all the way through the first production batch for Church & Dwight. But after the launch of the TROJAN's sex toy line, company officials cut ties with Sawhorse.
"Upon witnessing the viability of the production batch and increase in profits, [Church & Dwight] severed almost all ties with [Sawhorse], and used the system that [Sawhorse] had built on the reliance of a partnership, to effectively run [Sawhorse] out of business," the suit said.
Church & Dwight has reaped tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains and billions of dollars in increased market capital "on the back of Sawhorse’s experience and expertise," the suit said.
Sawhorse is suing for an unspecified amount over five counts: Breach of a confidentiality agreement, breach of good faith and fair dealing and breach of a technology licensing agreement, breach of an option agreement and fraud.
The suit seeks an accounting of revenue, adjudication that Church & Dwight breached several agreements and unspecified actual and punitive damages, among other demands.
XBIZ was unable to reach officials at Church & Dwight and Sawhorse by post time.