AUSTIN, Texas — Interactive Life Forms, parent company of Fleshlight, has filed a patent infringement suit against a company that rolled out its first masturbator product, the Blewit, this past September.
Fleshlight’s parent charges Blewit LLC in the suit with infringing on U.S. Patent No. 5,807,360, which was issued in 1998 for its famous masturbator device that is technically noted as a “device for a discreet sperm collection.”
The suit, filed at Austin federal court, noted that CT Schenk, the founder and CEO of Blewit, served as the affiliate manager at Strategeon, a company affiliated with the Fleshlight products from 2005 to 2008.
“On information and belief, CT Schenk, the CEO and founder was aware that plaintiff has vigorously enforced its rights under the ‘360 patent and has decided to import its infringing products for sale anyway,” the suit, filed in late October, said.
According to a description from Blewit, the product “is a product that was designed to simulate intercourse and enhance a user’s overall sexual health. The twisted octagon shape creates an ergonomic fit for both left and right-handed users and hands of all sizes, and the sleeve is multitextured for enhanced stimulation. Blewit has a top cap with quick-flip suction control and an air tight seal that creates a vacuum-like suction, and also includes two inner rings so users can adjust the product to their desired tightness.”
But Fleshlight’s parent’s suit said that Schenk actually knew or should have known that its actions constitute an “unjustifiably high risk of infringement of a valid and enforceable patent.”
“Defendant has imported, made, used, offered to sell, and/or sold within the U.S. Blewit products that are intended to directly compete with plaintiff’s patented Fleshlight products,” the suit said.
Fleshlight’s parent said in the suit that Schenk rolled out Blewit in New York City in September.
The company seeks damages, declaratory judgments on the alleged infringement and an injunction, among other forms of relief.
Schenk told XBIZ Wednesday that he disagreed with the infringment claims.
"I respect Fleshlight’s position and their history as a market leader," he said. But Blewit's "non-removable sleeve and other distinctive features make it a unique product that does not infringe on Fleshlight's patent, which expires in a matter of months."
"I stand behind my company and product, and our mission to confront harmful stereotypes and spark a much larger conversation about masturbation and sexual health."
Fleshlight did not immediately respond for XBIZ comment on the suit.