AUSTIN, Texas — The makers of Fleshlight-branded products filed suit on Monday against an Australian maker of sex toys marketing a "sperm collection" device similar to their patented device.
Legend Toys, according to Fleshlight's complaint filed at federal court in Austin, has been marketing the La ViVa Lovelight since 2009, and by doing so has been infringing on U.S. Patent No. 5,807,360, which is owned by Fleshlight parent company Interactive Life Forms.
Both the Fleshlight and La ViVa Lovelight are masturbators with penis sleeves intended to recreate the feeling of a real vagina.
Fleshlight in the trademark infringement suit said that it has owned its patent since 1997 and that Legend Toys operators failed to disclose knowledge of the trademark to examiners when they filed for the La ViVa Lovelight trademark in March 2011.
"Defendant ... was aware that registration of La Viva Lovelight trademark was likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive," the suit said. "Had the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office known of the Fleshlight trademark at the time of ... registration of La Viva Lovelight, the La Viva Lovelight trademark would not have been registered."
As a result, Legend Toys is faced with claims of patent and trademark infringement in the suit.
Legend Toys, based in New South Wales, Australia, has been selling La ViVa Lovelight on a site it owns, CherryErotic.com.au, and plans on showing off its products at AEE in January, the suit said.
Fleshlight suit asks for compensatory damages and an injunction, as well as a judgment declaring that Legend Toys has infringed the patent. It also faces demands of trademark cancellation and treble damages.
Interactive Life Forms' general counsel, Matthew Esber told XBIZ that "operations like this essentially are defrauding customers by stealing from companies like ILF."
“In the end those losses impact our product development, operational areas and ultimately they impact our customers, most of which are trying to purchase legitimate products," Esber said. "We’ve taken this action because we strongly believe in defending the intellectual property rights that we’ve worked so hard to create. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original intellectual property, not steal ours.”
Officials from Legend Toys were unavailable for comment.