Fleshlight Files Suit Against Leading Novelty Companies

WASHINGTON — Sex toy manufacturer Interactive Life Forms, maker of Fleshlight and sex-in-a-can, filed patent infringement complaints against 25 companies to stop sales of sex toys in the U.S. that use its technology.

Interactive Life Forms filed the suit with the U.S. International Trade Commission and also filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in Austin where the company is based.

The complaint names seven manufacturers, 11 distributors and seven retailers including California Exotic Novelties, Pipedream Products, Honey’s Place, LFP, PHE and others.

In the suit, Interactive Life Forms claims the companies are selling products that are likely to cause confusion, mistake and deception of the public as to the identity of ILF's goods, causing irreparable harm to ILF. According to the complaint, the companies aren’t licensed to use the elastomeric gel invention and aren’t paying royalties.

"It's really about the manufacturers we're after," Brian Shubin, Fleshlight's executive vice president told XBIZ. "We have intellectual property rights and its our obligation to defend them."

Shubin said two patents and multiple trademarks are being violated through the sales of these products, but he added, Fleshlight is willing to work with all parties to come to an amicable agreement.

The suit claims the patents were issued in 1998 on a device shaped as a flashlight or thermos with elastomeric gel inside.

Interactive Life Forms said the case shouldn’t be limited to those companies and asked that the ITC ban imports of any unlicensed products made with the patented elastomeric gel.

When contacted, California Exotic Novelties and Pipedream Products said it had no comment at this time.

“Topco has not been served with the lawsuit," said Stanley M. Chernoff, Topco's director of business and legal affairs.

"However, we are aware that the lawsuit has been filed and alleges patent infringement. Topco is confident that it does not manufacture or sell any products that infringe the Fleshlight patent and shall vigorously defend itself against such allegations.”

Liberator told XBIZ it has not officially been served and is not aware of any litigation.

LFP responded, "LFP has no comment related to this issue at this time."

XBIZ is awaiting responses from the other companies named in the suit.