LELO Responds to International Trade Commission Ruling

Rhett Pardon

WASHINGTON -- LELO Inc. today said that it is satisfied with the first results in the International Trade Commission’s case with Standard Innovation Corp.

"The purpose of the ITC proceedings brought against LELO by [Standard Innovation] is to determine whether LELO is violating Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended," LELEO spokeswoman Christina Velez told XBIZ.

"[International Trade Commission] Judge Thomas Pender gave his initial determination that LELO is not violating Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, regarding the importation and sale after the importation within the U.S. of theTiani, Tiani 2 and PicoBong Mahana personal massagers."

Velez further said that patent claims by Standard Innovation can't be proven in federal courts in U.S. and Canada.

"The company strongly denies any patent infringement and plans to demonstrate to the relevant bodies its original assertion that Standard Innovation ’s patent on their We-Vibe personal massager is in fact invalid, and of no good cause or effect."

Earlier this week, a U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled that sex toy manufacturer LELO infringed on Standard Innovation’s patent used for its We-Vibe line of vibrators.

The decision was the result of a four-day ITC hearing held in late August over Standard Innovations' intellectual property, U.S. Patent No. 7,931,605, used with its U-shaped, couples-device vibrators.

The patent, titled “Electro-Mechanical Sexual Stimulation Device to Be Worn During Intercourse,” relates to "a device for use by a female for sexual stimulation comprising an inner arm dimensioned for insertion into a vagina, to contact the wall of the vagina at or near the G-spot, an outer arm dimensioned to contact the clitoris and a resilient U-shaped member connecting the inner and outer arms."

Pender presided over the case and reached his decision over the validity of Standard Innovation's patent and LELO' s infringement after a Section 337 investigation was launched over alleged unfair trade through patent infringement.

But Pender, in his ruling, said that LELO' s models in question infringed on Standard Innovation's patent.

The USITC is a quasi-judicial agency that has the power to block imports of products that violate U.S. patent rights.

Standard Innovation's complaints seek to block the products from retail shelves and name scores of top adult retailers as respondents.