The Stockroom, Sportsheets Settle Suit, Countersuit

The Stockroom, Sportsheets Settle Suit, Countersuit
Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — Sportsheets International Inc. and The Stockroom have settled legal claims they made against each other over the sales and marketing of bed-restraint bondage gear.

A federal judge on Wednesday signed off on the dismissal of a complaint and counterclaims made between the two California adult companies. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

“Sportsheets and Stockroom have agreed that all of their claims and counterclaims shall be dismissed, with prejudice, and that all parties are to bear their own attorneys’ fees and costs,” according to an order dismissing the case.

Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Sportsheets, which registered the "Under the Bed Restraint System" phrase with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2015, filed a lawsuit last year against The Stockroom Inc. of Los Angeles, accusing the rival of using the "Under Bed" descriptor with its products.

In the suit, Sportsheets said that The Stockroom willfully infringed on the trademark in claims seeking a restraining order, unspecified damages and destruction of all products bearing the similar phrase.

But shortly after the initial suit was filed, legal counsel for The Stockroom shot back and promptly filed a counterclaim, saying that the trademark claims were "frivolous."

Later, The Stockroom asked a federal judge to cancel Sportsheets' trademarked phrase — U.S. Registration No. 4,669,665 — by ruling that it is a generic mark.  

Sportsheets trademark for "Under the Bed Restraint System" is described as "sexual aids for enhancement of sexual pleasure and performance, namely, fabric wrist-cuffs and fabric ankle cuffs with small metal attachments, and fabric anchors with small metal attachments, all for use alone or in combination with other devices for sexual positioning and role playing."

The Stockroom's counterclaims said that its KinkLab BedSpread Under Bed Bondage Strap was the focus of the complaint and that it sold the product prior to the date that Sportsheets applied for its trademark registration.

The Stockroom further said that its KinkLab BedSpread Under Bed Bondage Straps and Sportsheet's Under the Bed Restraint System "are so dissimilar in their respective names, packaging, branding and commercial impression that there is no reasonable likelihood of confusion."

According to the counterclaim made this past summer that complicated the suit, The Stockroom said that it earlier entered into an oral agreement with Sportsheets that allowed Stockroom to change the name of its product without any liability if Sportsheets would permit it to sell through its remaining inventory.

According to the counterclaim, Sportsheets agreed to The Stockroom's offer but later filed a lawsuit anyway.

Joel Tucker, founder and CEO of The Stockroom Inc., and Julie Stewart, president of Sportsheets International, both told XBIZ today that they will issue a press release on Tuesday over the settlement.

Last year, Tucker said that he had been a supporter of Sportsheets and had carried its products for more than 15 years.

"Sometimes disagreements can break out between friends, and subsequently they can patch things up and move on as friends again," Tucker said at the time.  

Related: